INSIDE THE NEWS

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Vo lu m e 5 6 • I s s u e 1 – 2
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015
INSIDE THE NEWS
Ferguson: An American Story
Raymond Codrington
Ferguson and the Right to Black Life
Steven Gregory
Standing Their Ground in #Ferguson
Lydia Brassard and Michael Partis
The Violence of the Status Quo:
Michael Brown, Ferguson and Tanks
Pem Davidson Buck
Beheaded: An Anthropology
Christian S Hammons
Dealing with Reality:
Sexual Harassment in the Field
Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Ty Matejowsky
Inside Anthropology News
IN
7
FOCUS
Race in America | The Violence of the Status Quo: Michael Brown,
Ferguson and Tanks......................................................................................................................... 4
Race in America | Ferguson and the Right to Black Life ................................................... 5
Race in America | Ferguson: An American Story................................................................. 6
Race in America | Standing Their Ground in #Ferguson................................................... 8
Violence | Society for the Anthropology of Religion | Beheaded:
An Anthropology............................................................................................................................. 9
Science | Anthropology and Climate Change | Climate Change Denial: The
Organized Creation and Emotional Embrace of Unsupported Science Claims....10
Secular and Sacred | Middle East Muddle | Dancing through Istanbul........10
Inequality | Otra Economía Otra Sociedad | Self-organization,
Integration and Homeless People............................................................................................11
ASSOCIATION
21
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BUSINESS
2014 AAA President’s Report...........................................................................................................13
The Impact of a Little........................................................................................................................... 14
From Ed’s Desk | New Web Presence Coming Soon...........................................................15
Meet the Staff.......................................................................................................................................... 16
Familiar/Strange | Meet the 2015 Annual Meeting Program and
Site Committee................................................................................................................................ 17
114th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting |
General Rules for Participation................................................................................................. 18
KNOWLEDGE
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30
DEVELOPMENT
Maximizing Success for Undergraduate Anthropology Majors |
Dealing with Reality: Sexual Harassment in the Field....................................................32
Association for Africanist Anthropology | Lessons from Directing
a Study Abroad Program in Tanzania: From Siangiki to Yeyio...................................33
Society for the Anthropology of Work | Reflections from the Field:
An Experience as a SAW Intern...............................................................................................34
Society for Anthropology on Community Colleges | From a Survey
of Anthropology to Actually Applying It.............................................................................34
Anthropology in the Classroom | Anthropology in the High School
Classroom..........................................................................................................................................35
Anthropology in the Public Sector | A Literature of Practice ............................36
Career Center Jobs................................................................................................................................38
IN
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EXCHANGE
2014 AAA Photo Contest...................................................................................................................20
Ghost Anthropologies | Twitter on the Plaza: The Spatial Practice of
Online Social Networks...............................................................................................................26
Contesting the Terms of Inclusion: Kichwa Midwives Challenge State
Commitment to Indigenous Rights........................................................................................27
The World Is Curved | The Guns of August, Again.........................................................28
Society for Medical Anthropology | Thinking with Kuru...................................29
Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology | For the
Love of Dogs: Approaching Animal-Human Interactions in Mexico......................30
Council on Anthropology and Education | Increasing English
Education in Japan: An Identity Crisis?................................................................................. 31
CAREER
24
MEMORIAM
Death Notices..........................................................................................................................................39
Cover: Ashley Marinaccio’s photo “A Call
to End Gun Violence in South Bronx” is one
of this year’s standouts from the 2014 AAA
Photo Contest. Here, Girl Be Heard Company
member Karen Vigo participates in a street
performance to end gun violence in NYC
communities. For more from the 2014 Photo
Contest, see pages 20–25 of this issue.
Photo courtesy Ashley Marinaccio
January/February 2015 |
ISSN 0098-1605
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| January/February 2015
IN FOCUS
IN FOCUS
In Focus features thematic series on a wide range of anthropological topics. All In Focus contributions are published first online
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RACE IN AMERICA
The Violence of the Status Quo
Michael Brown, Ferguson and Tanks
Pem Davidson Buck
Elizabethtown Community and Technical C
Years ago I thought about writing a paper I would call
“The Violence of the Status Quo.” I never wrote that
paper. Perhaps now is the time—although it would
have been appropriate any time in the last 500 years
of US history. Michael Brown, yes, and as of August 19
four other young Black men, all unarmed, perhaps not
perfectly behaved, but killed in the last month by White
police under circumstances in which Whites are almost
never killed by police. And a bit earlier Trayvon Martin…
the list goes on. The people of Ferguson have made it
impossible for the rest of the country to do the usual: a
bit of hand-wringing, a bit of a mea culpa moment on
the part of liberals, a bit of celebration on the part of
White supremacists, a profound (apparent) disinterest
on the part of most everyone else except those who
well know the daily-ness of such acts, those who have to
live their lives in the consciousness of them—and then
attention shifts, often to focus on fields where men play
with balls, for circuses do work even when the bread is
unevenly distributed. Or it can be the latest celebrity
scandal, anything so profoundly unimportant to anyone
but the individuals involved that no questions will arise
whose answers would show the status quo for what it is.
Violent. The violence of Ferguson—the murder and the
tanks is not new. It is the status quo, unmasked.
We all know the obvious acts of violence backing
injustice and inequality in US history. But we know
them as isolated factoids, not as part of a larger pattern,
a pattern of continuous violence that continues today:
the forced dispossession of the Native Peoples of this
land, the enslavement of Africans, the lynching and
executions of Jim Crow. Some of us know about the
enforced servitude of encomienda, the confinement
and dispossession of Japanese and Japanese-Americans
in California, the near enslavement of Chinese railroad workers, and some of us see the violence involved
in mass incarceration and immigrant deportation. But
there is also a masked violence, a daily violence that
accompanies the status quo, a violence that is critical in
maintaining the privilege that accompanies whiteness, a
privilege that only partially coincides with middle class
status. It is the violence created by inequality itself—
4
structural violence—and of the continuous low-level
violence required to maintain that inequality: incarceration, social service confiscation of children and the lack
of resources needed to prevent it, deaths from poverty
and discrimination, the maintenance of a school to
prison pipeline: the daily struggle to survive without
attracting the dangerous attention of the state.
We can connect the dots
between past violence and
present violence—we can show
that the violences we have been
taught to dismiss as isolated are
in fact part and parcel of the
same thing.
But it is hidden violence. Hidden, that is, from those
with a bit of privilege. We are supposed to see this as
law and order, or as the unfortunate collateral damage
that accompanies a benevolent, or at least inevitable,
capitalism, or as the fault of the individuals involved.
We don’t see it as part and parcel of the Trail of Tears
and the Middle Passage. We don’t see it as the violence
required to provide elites with cheap labor and cheap
resources, and the somewhat privileged with some
degree of comfort—all without provoking revolt. It is
when this daily violence fails, when the ideology that
masks it looses legitimacy in the eyes of the more privileged, that the tanks begin to roll. The violence in
Ferguson is not new.
The people of Ferguson, in their refusal to accept
either yet another death or the viciously militarized
response of the police, have torn off the mask that hides
these truths. It could have been torn off over other
deaths, and certainly emerged tattered after Trayvon
Martin’s murder. Militarized violence itself could have
been unmasked in the wake of the attack on the Boston
Marathon, when tanks rolled through the streets of
Watertown in a massive display of the militarization
of policing, accepted as protection against the foreign
Other. We should have remembered that they come
first for the other, and if we let them do that, they will
eventually come for us. As indeed they have.
But the militarization of the police is merely the latest
twist in the punishing deployment of force on which all
states are, at root, dependent. States are, among other
things, the mechanism by which an elite gains the
power to systematically transfer the wealth produced
by the labor of people and the resources of the land into
their own hands. Doing so requires the use of force, and
that force is deployed by the state. People don’t choose
to be exploited. They don’t choose to watch children
starve. They don’t choose to die of Black Lung; they don’t
choose the Trail of Tears, or slavery, or debt peonage, or
segregation or encomienda; they don’t choose near
slavery as immigrant contract labor nor to die crossing
the border to enter the US as did the grandparents or
great-grandparents of those trying to keep them out, or
to live in fear of Homeland Security in their homes and
workplaces if they survive. They don’t choose terrible
schools for their children, despite their high taxes, nor
spotty health care. Neither do they choose to watch
their daughters and sons struggle with minimum wage
jobs, assuming they are available, or with discrimination even with a college degree. And they do not choose
to see their sons incarcerated or shot dead by the very
people deployed by the state to serve and protect.
Maintaining such conditions is never easy; protest
and resistance, as well as acting out, is nearly continuous. Even people suffering through the confines of
slavery managed, as Gerald Horne’s The CounterRevolution of 1776 makes clear, to keep Whites in a state
of terror with arson, poisoning, murders and plots—
sometimes successful, and sometimes timed to coincide with Spanish or French attacks—to rise up, kill
Whites, and take control or flee. Punishments were
delivered with horrifying public spectacles of pain—
sending a message to other would-be rebels. One has
to wonder about the bleeding body of Michael Brown,
left in what amounts to public display for hours. The
perhaps escalating pattern of police killings of young
Black men, along with mass incarceration, is part of the
ongoing state terrorism that has kept voting down and
those most likely to turn to the use of force in response
to inequality off the streets.
Maintaining such conditions now and the ideology
needed to mask them is particularly difficult in times
of increasing misery for people used to a little privilege. There is the danger that those who develop a bit
of class consciousness as a result may join with those
who have been suffering all along; they may infect
those who might otherwise turn to racist backlash and
victim blaming, the ideologies that are so powerful in
masking the injustice of the status quo. That danger has
arisen now, with a greater questioning of the hegemonic
narrative than has been seen in years. It has arisen with
the present massive transfer of wealth to the 1% in
the face of the misery of structural adjustment and its
destruction of the social safety net, the faltering of US
global dominance accompanied by continuous war and
the misery it brings—financial, emotional, physical—to
soldiers, their families, and to the community at large.
When legitimacy is questioned and the usual ideological tactics haven’t worked, the tanks roll. But they have
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
IN FOCUS
rolled in Ferguson not so much to terrorize the people
of Ferguson—although they are the target—as to display
the punishing power available for all of us, should we
be sufficiently recalcitrant as to threaten the ability
of the few to control the transfer of wealth into their
own hands. Those tanks send a message: The state will
protect its own—as it has done throughout US history,
to the detriment most dramatically of people of color,
but also to the detriment of all but the elite. Unless we
stop them.
And we can’t stop them if we don’t see through
the masks to the underlying quotidian nature of the
violence of the status quo. This is where anthropology
can step in. Progressive journalists and commentators have quite rightly focused their explanations of the
events in Ferguson on such issues as the long history of
inequality there and in the US, on the long history of
violence against Blacks, on the racial disparities of the
justice system, deindustrialization and financial meltdown, and sometimes on White privilege. They have
also blasted the militarization of the police and the
outrageously disproportionate response of the police
which they feel sparked greater protests and perhaps the
violence of a few of the people of Ferguson.
But there is a deeper level of explanation that is
needed, and it is here that we anthropologists have a part
to play. Anthropology can furnish analysis of the state,
of the use of force, of whiteness, of structural inequality,
segmented labor forces, and structural violence. We
can connect the dots between past violence and present
violence—we can show that the violences we have been
taught to dismiss as isolated are in fact part and parcel
of the same thing. And in so doing—in straight-forward,
readable language—we can help move us all toward a
more just future.
Pem Davidson Buck the author of Worked to the
Bone: Race, Class, Power, and Privilege in Kentucky
and of In/Equality: An Alternative Anthropology. Her
recent work has focused on mass incarceration and on
the role of punishment in state formation. She teaches
at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in
Kentucky.
Published September 10, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
RACE IN AMERICA
Ferguson and the Right to Black Life
Steven Gregory
Columbia U
On March 19, 1935, the white manager of WH Kress
& Co five-and-dime store on 125th Street in Harlem
apprehended a 16-year-old Puerto Rican boy, allegedly for shoplifting a pocketknife. The teenager, Lino
Rivera, was tackled and dragged by the manager and his
staff to the store’s basement to await the police. Black
customers, fearful that the boy was being beaten, began
to shout and toss merchandise, demanding they return
Rivera to the main floor. When an angry crowd began
assembling outside the store, police spirited the boy
away through a back door.
Only hours later, activists from the Young Communist
League and Young Liberators, a black civil rights group,
arrived, forming picket lines and distributing leaflets.
Harlem residents threw stones at the store’s windows
and a pitched battle broke out with the police. Later that
night, rioters looted businesses across an area extending
from 116th to 145th Street. Two days later, the New York
Times published a “proof of life” photograph of Lino
Rivera, smiling in the embrace of Lieutenant Samuel
J Battle, Manhattan’s first black policeman. District
Attorney John Dodge announced that a grand jury
would be convened to investigate the riot and told the
press, “My purpose is to let the Communists know that
they cannot come into this country and upset our laws.”
The scapegoating of the Young Liberators and
Communists, who had played minor roles at best in the
civil unrest, elided the conditions of poverty, inequality
and police violence at the heart of the disturbances.
The claim that outside agitators had been the riot’s ringleaders implied—indeed, reiterated—that black people
were incapable of acting as political subjects in the
defense of their humanity and rights as citizens, and
beyond the mindless discharge of a violent, inscrutable
rage. As Franz Fanon put it, “the black man has no ontological resistance in the eyes of the white man”—no
interior psychic life or autonomous existence as a rights
bearing person. Instead, black subjectivity is epidermalwww.anthropology-news.org
ized as an obscure surface upon which to project the
paranoid fantasies and supremacist weltanshauung of a
white male power structure.
Unsurprisingly, the response of the authorities and
press to the Harlem riot bears striking symmetry to
events in Ferguson. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old
African-American youth was gunned down by a white
policeman, and people from Ferguson took to the
streets to express their outrage and demand justice.
I write “took to the streets” here to underscore the
fact that, in the US, the notion of protest has become
synonymous with forms and expressions of opposition that are deemed legitimate by the very authorities
against whom they are directed. As in the Harlem riot,
the media and authorities labored from the outset to
distinguish between peaceful protestors, who obeyed
the often incoherent directives of the police, and those
others who were implicated in that great American
bugaboo called “violence.”
The violence that so alarmed police and pundits
ranged from looting, to the tossing of water bottles, to
simply being—like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown or
Kajieme Powell—a black male walking. But one is struck
by the radical disparity between the police reports of
violence and the media’s live video feeds of a militarized police force indiscriminately firing tear gas and
stun grenades, and “bum rushing” the crowd. Indeed,
the media praised Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson
for instructing his command to mix with the crowd—
not to communicate or bond with the protestors but to
more effectively weed out the so-called agitators. “We’re
asking people not to gather,” Johnson told the media.
“We’re asking so we don’t have gatherings of 200, 300,
400 people because then that allows, we’ve talked about
the criminals, agitators—to embed themselves behind
large crowds.” This familiar human shield argument
suggests that crowds of protestors are inadvertently, if
not willfully, complicit with the thugs hiding in their
midst, thereby legitimating collective repression and
rendering all protestors illicit and life threatening to
police in riot gear.
As I write, public officials and the media are celebrating the restoration of peace and normalcy in
Ferguson with stories of hope, healing and understanding. But it was this peace and this normalcy that
killed Michael Brown. Lost in the mass-mediated sighs
of relief and longings for an end to violence has been
the recognition that black people have the right to
assert and defend their humanity and rights as citizens, and in a manner that can only transgress the
status quo. Assertiing this human right has repeatedly
led to the death of black people by police and their selfappointed proxies: a menacing cut of the eyes, suspicious demeanor, lawful questioning of authority, or an
offhand comment have all proved to be sufficient justification for the use of deadly force by policemen and
others who, we are to believe, feared for their lives in the
presence of black people. It is obscene, in my opinion, to
even debate this self-defense argument—to puzzle over
the precise distance, posture or attitude that renders a
black person’s existence life threatening to their white,
typically male killers.
There are two important lessons that I take from the
killing of Michael Brown and countless others at the
hands of white police and vigilantes. The first is that
we must recognize that these killings did not occur
because their perpetrators feared for their lives, lacked
sensitivity or were poorly trained.They killed because
they encountered black people who had the audacity
to comport themselves as if their rights as citizens were
inalienable and protected by the full weight of the law.
Trayvon Martin had the temerity to walk home at night
in a hoodie, Ranisha McBride had the pluck to knock
on a white man’s door at 4:42 am, and Eric Garner had
the chutzpah to protest to the police (the often fatal
crime of “talking back”) that he was being unjustly
harassed. And the perpetrators killed them with impunity because they could. Some would argue, reasonably so, that we should not prejudge the police officer
who killed Michael Brown; that we should weigh each
See
Ferguson on page 6
5
| January/February 2015
Ferguson
continued from page 5
case on its own merits and let roll the wheels of justice.
But the relentless pattern of extrajudicial police killings, investigative negligence and turbidity, and reasondefying exonerations of white shooters constitutes, in
my mind, a Durkeimian social fact—one that we as a
society must recognize if “life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness” is to have any but ironic significance. If we
are to end gratuitous police violence, then we must hold
these perpetrators and the institutions that enable them
strictly accountable—liable not only for unjustifiable
homicides but also for the quotidian indignities, abuses,
hate speech, and denials of justice and due process that
continue to texture the lives of black people across the
nation.
Ten days after Michael Brown’s
killing, a second black man
was gunned down on a St
Louis street. Twenty-five-yearold Kajieme Powell was shot
twelve times by two white
police officers after he allegedly
threatened them with a knife.
Second, we must be critical of how discourses of
black violence, chaos and criminality are mobilized to
delegitimize black resistance while conferring carte
blanche to police repression. It defies reason to treat
isolated reports of violence, few of them confirmed, as
equivalent or proportionate to the zealous, militarized
police assault on the citizens of Ferguson. Is it not an
act of violence to point an assault rifle at an unarmed
IN FOCUS
protestor? Is not the indiscriminate firing of tear gas,
stun grenades and, by some reports, rubber bullets
violence? And do not the acts of symbolic violence,
subjection and degradation visited upon black youth, in
particular, rise to the level of violence to be condemned
and punished by law?
In the wake of the Ferguson unrest, there is a risk
that we lose sight of the right of black youth—demonized as violent criminals and agitators—to refuse to
submit to the subject position of “deserving, non-violent
protestor,” worthy of being listened to, respected and
not brutalized. To be sure, I am not advocating violence
or condoning the sporadic acts of looting and bottle
throwing that occurred in Ferguson. But it is wrongheaded and irresponsible to characterize those acts and
expressions of outrage and disobedience as the irrational, apolitical and illegible brutality of “outside agitators”—persons who exist beyond the pale of reason and
civility and, thus, humanity. It is these young people,
who struggle daily at the stigmatized margins of society,
who must be brought to the center of our discussions
and debates about police violence and race relations in
contemporary American society.
Ten days after Michael Brown’s killing, a second black
man was gunned down on a St Louis street. Twentyfive-year-old Kajieme Powell was shot twelve times
by two white police officers after he allegedly threatened them with a knife. Powell’s killing has received
less attention than Brown’s, probably because it did not
yield the spectacle of social unrest so irresistible to the
media. Moreover, Powell, who was reported to suffer
from a mental illness, was described as behaving “erratically,” telling police, “Shoot me, kill me now.” Powell was
constructed as a black man who had stepped beyond
reason and, thus, forfeited his humanity—his right to
life. A suspect police killing became, as if by alchemic
inversion, a “suicide-by-cop.” It seemed to be, at first, a
justifiable homicide. Police Chief Sam Dotson told the
press that Powell, brandishing a knife in an overhead
grip, had advanced to within three feet of one officer,
thus matter-of-factly rounding out the profile of a black
man who could be killed with impunity. And then the
pesky video was released—the video that revealed no
overhead grip; that Powell, hands always his sides, was
well beyond the arbitrary three-foot killing zone when
the two officers gunned him down and then proceeded
to handcuff his corpse.
Some have asked whether the officers who
confronted Powell were equipped with Tasers, which
could have served as an alternative to firing twelve
bullets. “Certainly a Taser is an option that’s available to
the officers,” Chief Dotson, explained, “but Tasers aren’t
100 percent.” No, not if you intend to kill. But I would
go even further: could not the officers not have lowered
their guns, stepped back a few yards and made, at the
very least, an effort to pacify or communicate with
Powell—in short, made the effort not to kill? We should
recall Antoinette Tuff here who, with courage matched
only by her empathy, talked down a school gunman
armed with an AK-47 in suburban Atlanta. But we are
asked to believe that white policemen, when faced with
black people, have but microseconds to react to safeguard their lives.
Indeed, Powell was gunned down only 16 seconds
after police had arrived on the scene. But 16 seconds,
it appears, was more than enough time to take in the
“fact of blackness,” as Fanon put it—to project onto the
surface of a black person’s skin, the tropes and narratives
of black criminality, unreason and cultural pathology
that are so deeply ingrained within American society.
“Bring it on, all you fucking animals!” a policeman
shouted at the crowd in Ferguson. An aberration,
perhaps, but his words aptly convey the deep structural
logic of the dehumanizing violence that continues to be
visited upon African Americans and other people of
color in America.
Bring it on we must. But we must fight this battle with
and not against those who agitate for freedom, democracy and human rights.
Steven Gregory is professor of anthropology and AfricanAmerican studies at Columbia University. He is the author
of Black Corona (Princeton University, 1998), Santeria in
New York City (Garland, 1999) and The Devil Behind
the Mirror (University of California, 2006).
Published September 15, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
RACE IN AMERICA
Ferguson
An American Story
Raymond Codrington
New York Hall of Science
By now the story is familiar to many. In Ferguson, MO,
a town of less than 16,000 people, Michael Brown, an
18-year old was walking in the middle of a residential street. He ignored police officer’s Darren Wilson
order to move out of the street. Apparently, a struggle
of some kind ensued. Brown retreated and witnesses
state that he was shot by Officer Wilson with his hands
6
and arms raised in the air in surrender. Brown’s body
fell dead approximately 35 feet from Officer Wilson.
It is reported that the teen’s dead body lay in the street
for four hours before it was removed. Michael Brown’s
death, the police response and the discourse on race
resonate because they demonstrate the impact of racism
and inequality in this country. The images of people
walking with their hands and arms raised in the air has
become a national symbol of Brown’s death and fraught
relations between police and the black community.
The fall out from Brown’s death took the form of
debate and protesting. It is hard to forget the display
of military grade weapons and tactics on civilians by
law enforcement in Ferguson. This equipment was
secured through the 1033 Program, which provides
police departments with refurbished military equipment from the US Department of Defense. Crowd
control tactics included using tear gas, rubber bullets
and armored personnel carriers. An image that captures
the tension between protesters and police shows an
African American protester wearing an American flag
T-shirt hurling a tear gas canister fired in his direction
away from a crowd. In one hand, he holds the canister
with his arm fully recoiled back while in the other
hand he holds a bag of chips. In some ways, the chips
reminded us that the protesters were our neighbors, not
www.anthropology-news.org
IN FOCUS
if not moreso than the birds
and the bees talk. But the
former is a rite of passage for
too many black parents and
youth. Race and youth are at
the center in Brown’s killing in
all too familiar and sad ways.
The reality of black youth
engaging police or violence
more generally is commonplace. Youth can answer WEB
DuBois’s question posed in the
Souls of Black Folk in regard
to “what does it feel like to be
a problem.” The outcome of
being seen as a problem is clear
in the fate of Michael Brown
for walking in the street,
Trayvon Martin for walking
home and looking subjectively
suspicious, Jordon Davis for
playing music perceived as too
loud, and Renisha McBride for
knocking on someone’s door
at night seeking help, and the
list goes on. In this, existence
A reverend does the “hands up don’t shoot” gesture in Ferguson, MO. Photo
courtesy Wikimedia Commons
is tenuous, and there is no
way of knowing if a chance
occupying a foreign war zone and that this was their
encounter with the police or a private citizen will end
normal where the extreme and mundane coexisted.
without incident and you will walk away, or whether
About a week after Brown’s death, a video was
you will be judged by twelve or carried by six. As I
released of him allegedly taking a pack of cigarillos
look back on my own experiences, especially as a
from a convenience store without paying and pushing
teen, I wonder if the times when police accused me of
a store clerk. News reports refer to the incident as a
car theft while driving the family car or when I was
robbery. The video came to light on the same day that
accused of kidnapping a white woman while driving
Officer Wilson’s identity was revealed. The video has
with a white male friend who had long hair might have
been cited as evidence that Brown had criminal incliended differently based on circumstance.
nations—mainly robbery—and an aggressive character.
In a broader context, the events in Ferguson demonThe act doesn’t seem the exclusive domain of black
strate the cumulative impact of structural and individual
kids, as recently Caroline Giuliani, the 20-year old
racism. There is a long history of race related problems
daughter of New York’s former Mayor Rudolph Guilani
in Ferguson, but the city is not unique by any means.
was arrested for shoplifting from the cosmetic store
Things came to boiling point with Michael Brown’s
Sephora. Interestingly, here, shoplifting was not framed
death but this is a national and global problem that has
as robbery. I knew a lot of white kids in high school and
implications for race, class and gender. Most accounts
some, not all, stole from convenience stores. I saw it as
note that Ferguson police stop more blacks than other
something that bored kids did because they could, they
groups. Three out Ferguson’s 53 police officers are black
thought it was fun, and because there were few consewhile blacks make up the majority of the town. Blacks
quences. Sadly, Brown wasn’t able to play the youthful
receive less protection under the rule of law and come
indiscretion card however and was cast as a hulking
into contact with the criminal justice system in disproyouth who defied authority and as such had to pay the
portionate numbers. For example, in 2013 blacks made
ultimate price.
up 86% of traffic stops in Ferguson. At the same time,
Michael Brown was a son before he was a victim
blacks were 92% of vehicle searches yet contraband
of a police killing. New York Times appeared to paint
was found 22% of these searches versus 34% for whites.
Brown as “no angel” in a the background story “Michael
Interestingly, in 2012 19% of Ferguson’s budget was
Brown Spent Last Weeks Grappling With Problems
financed through fines and court appearances. As such,
and Promise” (August 24) by pointing out things that
the black community is essentially paying a tax through
are common with most teenagers such as feeling that
the outcomes of systematic profiling. In addition, estabhis parents didn’t understand him, experiencing diffilished white populations who have lived in Ferguson
culty in school, and aspiring to be a rapper, among
longer than many blacks, who have lived there for about
other things. His parents note that as young man who
15 years, have developed the infrastructure to consoliwas quite tall, they had spoken to him about how to
date power and elect white candidates. These advanbehave in interactions with police. The assumption
tages are demonstrated by the presence of one black city
was that as a young black man, he would be stopped
council member and school board member in Ferguson.
at some point, so stop and search literacy is needed
Ferguson clearly shows how structural disparities are
to defuse the situation and avoid harassment, beating
created and maintained and how becomes difficult it
or worst yet death. I would venture to ask whether
becomes to vote in officials and policies that will change
the “how to act around police” talk is as common
racial dynamics.
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
Where do we go from here? What implicit bias or
implicit social cognition tells us that one doesn’t have
to consider themselves or be considered a racist to treat
people different based on race? What goes through
people’s minds when what they see is based on split
second, subconscious assessments? For example, police
officers who pull over motorists from historically racialized groups, sale representatives who practice shop and
frisk, or the person who “has a lot of black friends” yet
may cross the street or move to the other side of the
elevator when a person of color is close may not recognize that they are indeed treating someone different
based on race. This has both symbolic and material
consequences. At the same time, the structural nature
of race and racism is more subtle while not relying on
overt racism. Disadvantage for historically racialized
groups, is embedded yet rendered seemingly invisible in
institutions tied to areas such as criminal justice, education, and employment because poor outcomes are the
commonsense outcomes of the everyday practices and
police. Here, it becomes easy to rationalize how and why
historically racialized groups fare relatively poorly in
these areas as well as why, for example, black communities require more strict policing. Understanding how
policies and practices are impacted by the subtle as
well as overt influence of racism is a central charge in
moving forward.
As we think about both the historically proven and
emerging forms of race based marginalization considering how the process of racialization works could illuminate some of the very social, economic and political
realities that assign identity, power, and privilege or lack
thereof to particular groups seems like a worthwhile
direction to take. I say this especially in regard to developing broader analytical and organizing connections
between what is happening in the US and in places
such as the UK, which has also experienced civil unrest
related to police treatment of minorities most recently
noted in London in 2011and Brazil this year where militarized police patrol favelas under auspices of the policy
known as pacification. What can comparative cases
teaches us about developing strategies and frameworks
for dismantling structural disparities?
It remains to be seen whether Michael Brown’s death
represents a significant moment in time or the beginning of a wider movement. However, the moral questions around justice, how we treat our young, and what
is the worth of black life are at the heart of the Michael
Brown killing and our understanding of race, and
racism, and civil society. As such, the Brown case could
be seen as an opportunity to address the underlying
processes of racialization that lead to his killing rather
than looking at Michael Brown and black youth as problems that need to fixed.
Raymond Codrington holds substantive experience in
popular culture and policy analysis. He is currently
anthropologist in residence at New York Hall of Science’s
Innovation Institute. He was previously senior research
associate at the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on
Community Change where he addressed issues related to
policy, race and equity.
Published September 18, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
7
| January/February 2015
IN FOCUS
RACE IN AMERICA
Standing Their Ground in #Ferguson
Lydia Brassard
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Michael Partis
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community C
In her 2013 AAA Presidential Address, Anthropology
Matters, Leith Mullings outlined the mutually constitutive relationship between social movements of the
‘60s and ‘70s and anthropological theory. Listening to
the speech, we were reinvigorated as PhD students and
also envious. Comparatively, our work on the production of history, inequality and public culture comes
across as a bit more abstract, especially to our students.
So our guiding question is, how can we demonstrate,
particularly for students, that the discipline is critical for
contemporary comprehension and analysis? We believe
not only does anthropology matter, but is imperative in
interpreting and discussing the social movement that
Michael Brown’s murder has spurred.
This commentary is a collaborative offering that
focuses on the ways in which #Ferguson can be used for
our anthropology students as a way to analyze the relationship between contemporary power structures and
the trajectories of sociopolitical mobilizations over time.
While much has been written about social media’s role
in Ferguson, Missouri the interpretations varied little,
with much of the focus on Twitter “scooping” traditional
news outlets, who then sent organizational representation to Missouri, “allowing” Michael Brown’s murder
to become a national news story. While that narrative
unfolded on the national stage, in our anthropology
classrooms, #Ferguson can be an entry point to discuss
power, history and the production of public spheres.
Our mode of discussion underscores the understanding that the socio-historical landscape from which
#Ferguson emerges and circulates, is an intergenerational task—as is the provisioning of intellectual and
practical tools to unpack and examine the larger categories and narratives that enable said landscape. For
example, it’s not just about facts (eg, how many unarmed
young black men have been murdered by police officers
in the last year), but how these facts (transmitted by
organizations, corporations, politicians and individuals
with particular interests) both take and give shape to
larger frames of reference.
The power of assembly has fundamentally shaped the
Black Freedom Struggle and other social movements
throughout the African Diaspora. One way to situate
#Ferguson is as an example of Black Americans actively
claiming their right to assemble, to stand their ground
against military-grade tanks, and create new modes of
publicity—physically—in the streets, and virtually—via
circulating social and traditional media representations.
Michelle Alexander has written about the social realities of the New Jim Crow, and how it operates as a racialized form of social control. While that control manifests
itself in punishment, sentencing, convictions, policing,
etc, but also circulates through characterization and
rhetoric. In detailing the rise of mass incarceration in
8
the US Alexander links the activation and use of “law
and order” rhetoric to conservative opposition to the
non-violent protest techniques of the Black Freedom
movement. It is exactly this “racialized criminalization,”
operating in tandem with militarized policing, which
turned #Ferguson into a national issue. The response of
the Ferguson police department to non-violent protest
challenges the newer discourse on post-racialism but
older US notions of rights. #Ferguson reflects how Black
bodies continue to collectivize, aggregate, and come
together virtually and on-the-ground. Metaphorically
and concretely, “Ferguson” gives name to the challenges Blacks face in achieving racial equality and social
incorporation, as well as illuminates the new forms of
publicity that have emerged from an imaginative and
politically-oriented black public sphere.
In the instance of #Ferguson, these new forms of
publicity rest of digital sharing and exchange. Digitized
social media has been indispensible in creating new
possibilities for greater socio-political literacy across
generations as it relates to an array of socio-historical configurations, including visual culture and the
constitution of the public sphere, social stratification
and inequality, and political mobilization. It is essential to consider the contributions and capacities of
social media, without fetishizing it as the path to liberation, or “the way” to connect with youth. In the case
of #Ferguson, we can see the ways in which the digital
landscape activates imaginative ways of relating lightly
packaged information (rather than tightly narrated
facts) to and with diffuse individuals and collectivities.
The contemporary political climate emphasizes
winner-take-all politics, which corresponds to a socioeconomic context that gives primacy to scarcity. Social
media provides a strong countervailing force, through its
emphasis on sharing and aggregating; or as Jeffrey Juris
explains, the distinction between logics of networking
and logics of aggregating. #Ferguson demonstrates that
social media’s connectedness and exchanges are part
of a narrative-building apparatus that rebuffs static
tropes and hegemonic imagery. The digital sphere of the
#FergusonUprising contested publics that attempted to
marginalize historically under-represented groups, and
challenged narratives that tried to normalize inequality,
state violence, and white supremacy. What social
media’s aggregation logic and participatory framework
has attempted to do is change the meaning and the
story embedded in 21st century Black bodies. That has
powerfully impacted the way we understand the racialized dimensions of several events over the past decade:
the plight of Gulf Coast and Lower 9th Ward residents
during Hurricane Katrina; the racialized imprecision of
society’s criminal justice systems in the case of the Jena
6; the idea that clothing justifies murder, in the case of
Trayvon Martin.
The development of hashtags such as
#FergusonSyllabus and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown
are examples of digitized social networks mobilizing
to create a repository of resources for educators and
learners in the paradigm of community education. Both
examples highlight how social media has increased the
scale, and made more visible, the latent social justice
beliefs and ideas for a class of Black Americans who have
had their political activity marginalized and reified.
The digital community utilized social media and
grassroots media producers to bring immediate disruption to traditional media’s attempts to organize social
comprehension of these events through the tropes of
wantonness, criminality, and pathology. The grassroots have used digital tools to change not only how
we see examples of racism and racialized injustice, but
to also publicize how the narrative of racial inequality
in contemporary society is produced and transmitted.
In his discussion of power and the production of
historical narratives, Trouillot (1995) sets readers up to
examine the fruitful space between “what happened”
and “what is said to have happened.” Anthropological
research provides the social and cultural origins (or
biological), which presents the nuance and detail of
processes. The coverage of the recent murder of Michael
Brown crystallizes Trouillot’s points about the roots of
power operating largely invisibly, deeply embedded in
centuries of knowledge production.
The success of digital activism in the case of
#Ferguson, stems from the relentless, on-the-ground,
minute-by-minute sharing that foreclosed the opportunity for what was happening in Missouri to be drained
of political potency and circulate in the daily paper as
a depoliticized abstraction. As we know, media representations—both images and rhetorics (tropes, categories)—assist in producing and reproducing hegemonic values and imaginaries, helping to shape ideas
about the bodies that belong in public spaces and those
that are deemed threatening by virtue of existence.
The viral flow of information and images from the
grassroots, the authority of which is not assumed or
expected, usurps information asymmetry and creates
opportunities for more democratic and representative
public spheres, both in terms of participation and lack
of censorship.
Contributing to the effect of images, videos, and audio
disseminated from the streets of Ferguson, Missouri,
were the 140 characters, and captions composed of
sentence fragments. What is compelling about the
limited text relates again to the issue of ‘authority to
represent’. Hegemonic news outlets, the authority of
which is assumed- seek to create largely static narratives for a readership and viewership who want to
understand current events through pre-exiting categories of understanding. Whereas because social media
is inherently diffuse, seemingly omniscient hegemonic
narratives have little to no place, and thus it’s uses for
organizing, gathering evidence, and tracking what is
unfolding have been highlighted. Digital activism is not
neat, it’s messy and ongoing—rather than nailing down
‘facts’, participants lift up previously neglected corners
and shine lights on ignored sources, crowdsourcing
information in an attempt to create the most nuanced
landscape of understanding, and thus transformation,
possible. www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
IN FOCUS
In another article in this series, Pem Buck reminded
us, “The violence of Ferguson—the murder and the
tanks is not new. It is the status quo unmasked.”
And here lays our challenge as educators, particularly as the semester gets further underway—how do
we keep the mask off, lesson by lesson, and keep our
students’ eyes and minds trained on that which they
are conditioned not to see or question? We’ve shared
some of our ideas and urge others to do the same via
social media, using #AnthropologyMatters. Assistant
History Professor Marcia Chatelain’s observations
will be instructive in this endeavor, as she reminds us,
“… from where I sat, Ferguson was unlike anything
most, traditional-age students had ever experienced.
I remembered unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 and
feeling so overwhelmed by all of it. I realized that the
majority of our students were too young to remember
this or were not even born yet. I felt it was important to create a way for other educators concerned
about how students understood what happened, and I
simply want people to commit to thinking about ways
to talk about it.”
Michael Partis (https://medium.com/@chewitblingon)
is an applied anthropologist and instructor in the Center
for Ethnic Studies at CUNY Borough of Manhattan
Community College. He’s an executive board member
of Young Movement Inc, working on communitybased economic development. Michael is the founder
of the Hip-Hop Thought Project (http://smartpawns.
tumblr.com).
Lydia Brassard is a public educator and a cultural
anthropology PhD student at The Graduate Center, City
University of New York. Her doctoral research focuses
on race, heritage politics, and urban public space in the
United States. She invites you to follow her @lydpidkid.
Published September 25, 2014 on
VIOLENCE
Beheaded
An Anthropology
Christian S Hammons
U Colorado–Boulder
What can anthropology tell us about the beheading
of two American journalists by the self-proclaimed
Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL)?
Anthropologists have been mostly silent so far, but
with the US government escalating its intervention
in Iraq and Syria, they should be more forthcoming.
There are at least three ways that this new round of
violence in the Middle East could be approached.
First, the Islamic State is an aberration because
most Muslims condemn it as extreme or as not
Muslim at all. In “The Trouble with ISIS,” Daniel
Martin Varisco argues that the Islamic State will
unleash a new round of Islamophobia even though
it is “…a trouble not with religion but the overt and
spiteful abuse of a religious veneer to justify political ambition and hateful vengeance.” This approach
avoids the Orientalist assumption that Islam is inherently more violent than Christianity or any other religion by attributing the violence of the Islamic State to
its politics rather than its religion.
Second, the Islamic State may be an aberration, but
it is not novel: there have been caliphates before this
one. What is new is the political context in which this
caliphate has arisen. If a caliphate is not just a Muslim
state, but one that has global ambitions, the conditions for the realization of those ambitions actually
exist in the 21st century. This is why social media is
as important to the Islamic State as controlling territory and resources, establishing a bureaucracy, and
providing social services. It is a caliphate that has
arisen from the conditions of globalization and uses
them to its advantage.
The beheading videos produced and circulated
by the Islamic State are part of a social media
campaign to constitute a subject population. In
“The Pornography of Jihadism,” Simon Cottee
argues that the videos are pornographic in their
logic and reach:
www.anthropology-news.org
anthropology-news.org
SOCIETY FOR THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION
One of the most striking aspects of the more violent among these
videos—especially the beheading videos of journalists James Foley
and Steven Sotloff—is their pornographic quality. They are primal
and obscene and gratuitous. And, like most modern porn videos,
they are instantly accessible at the click of a mouse.
The beheading videos are a kind of porn that Cottee
(following Martin Amis) calls gonzo, which favors the
display of violence over narrative. Gonzo porn is an
example, he argues, of what Mark Juergensmeyer
calls performance violence, which empowers, but has
no strategic goal. Cottee also notes that gonzo porn
inspires amateur imitation and that the beheadings staged by the Islamic State, coupled with social
media, allow the theater of terrorism to expand in
ways that were once hardly imaginable.
A variation on the second approach to the violence
of the Islamic State could emphasize that beheading
is a long-standing practice of statecraft, including
Muslim statecraft. Beheading is almost always associated with the founding of a new social order or
is reserved, after the social order is established,
for outcasts, the worst criminal offenders, or both.
In 2007, Saudi Arabia officially beheaded four Sri
Lankan laborers who had been found guilty of armed
robbery. This example and many others from history
suggest that victims of state-sanctioned beheadings
are not just criminals, but criminals who have been
marked as different—as outsiders—by their race,
ethnicity, nationality, class and/or gender.
In this respect, state-sanctioned beheadings could
not be more different from the headhunting practices of nonstate societies. In fact, when headhunting
occurs on the margins of states, it is most often a
tactic in “the art of not being governed.” The victims
are often subjects of the state, and the effect is the
production of a nonstate space, a declaration that
government control is weak or nonexistent. When
headhunting occurs between nonstate peoples, it
may have the same effect and/or it may indicate a
relation of negative reciprocity between the social
groups who are exchanging heads. Even though
the groups are enemies, they are more similar than
different. Headhunting is a barely-controlled mimetic
crisis.
In beheading the journalists, the Islamic State was
making a claim to statecraft. Even if it has declared
the US and the West to be its enemy, and even if the
expressed reason for the beheadings was that the US
did not meet the demand of the Islamic State to stop
bombing its territory, resources and subject population, the intended audience of the beheadings was
surely not the US government, which the Islamic
State must have expected to seek retribution. It was,
instead, the existing and potential members of the
subject population of the Islamic State. The beheadings are a classic case of what Rene Girard calls a
founding violence—the violence at the origin of a new
social order, usually directed at an outsider, a sacrificial victim, whose death is intended to dispel internal
conflict.
Many commentators have noted the suddenness
with which the Islamic State has come into being.
Just a year ago, it was not on the geopolitical map.
Now it is the center of the map. I do not know the
details of its emergence, but it seems clear from
news reports that there has been much violence
along the way. This violence was initially directed
at internal others like Shias, Christians and Yazidis.
It is now directed at external others like foreign
journalists.
As the US intervention to “degrade and destroy” the
Islamic State begins—and the fragile order founded
on violence begins to collapse—the violence will
escalate in an attempt to restore the emerging order.
The beheadings will not only continue, they will
occur more frequently, and they will be more violent
than could be imagined. This has already begun:
another video released by the Islamic State shows the
beheading of David Haines, a British humanitarian
aid worker.
A search for “Islamic State” on the AAA website yielded
two relevant hits: “The Trouble with ISIS” by Daniel
Varisco and a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry
from Susan Gillespie on behalf of the AAA and its
Cultural Heritage Task Force.
Please send news and items of interest for this column
to SAR Contributing Editor Christian S Hammons at
[email protected]
Published September 17, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
9
| January/February 2015
SCIENCE
IN FOCUS
ANTH RO POLOGY AND C LIMATE C HANGE
Climate Change Denial
The Organized Creation and Emotional Embrace of Unsupported
Science Claims
Merrill Singer
U Connecticut
The August 13, 2014 issue of Arctic News begins, “A
catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is unfolding
in the Arctic Ocean. Huge quantities of methane are
erupting from the seafloor of the East Siberian Sea and
entering the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean”. This
discovery was made by an international team of scientists from Sweden, Russia and the US that is conducting
research on methane release. Already, the IPCC recognizes the possibility of a worst-case scenario characterized by a mean temperature rise above 20 degrees
Celsius in this century, which for humans and many
other species is an obviously catastrophic proposition.
Yet, this IPCC scenario does not include many feedback processes that accelerate temperature rise, such
as the massive and abrupt methane release now being
recorded in the Arctic Ocean. Combined with other
data a growing realization among climate scientists is
that climate change is far worse than had already been
realized.
And yet, climate change denial thrives. How? Why?
Evidence of the continued campaign to dispute the
mountain of scientific evidence revealing not only the
extent but also the source of global climate change—
data that has even convinced the Pentagon that climate
change presents a significant security threat to the
US—is abundant. In September, the new crop of school
textbooks for use in Texas were altered to reflect the
denier views espoused by the Heartland Institute, a
well-funded organization that first gained notoriety
for its rigorous defense of the Joe Camel campaign to
attract young smokers. The 6th grade science book,
for example, was altered to read: “Scientists agree that
Earth’s climate is changing. They do not agree on what
is causing the change,” and quotes two staffers at the
Heartland Institute who are not scientists. Of course, a
startlingly high percentage of scientists (about 97%), in
fact, do agree on what is causing climate change, human
behavior. The textbook alterations sparked outrage that
Texas children would be not be taught why they world
they live in is growing ever warmer and would be ill
prepared to cope with the changes that are unfolding.
SECULAR AND SACRED
In 2012, Peter Gleick, a MacArthur Fellow and the
CEO the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development,
Environment, and Security in Oakland, exposed
internal documents from the Heartland Institute that
revealed concrete and well organized plans to promote
school curricula that cast doubt on the scientific finding
that fossil fuel emissions endanger the long-term welfare
of the planet.
Subsequently, Brendan Montague, a London-based
investigative journalist, who has been studying the
climate denial industry for three years, was (apparently
inadvertently) invited to attend Heartland Institute’s
9th International Conference on Climate Change in
Las Vegas. Based on his experience at the conference,
he wrote “It would almost be possible to dismiss this
whole crowd as a bunch of sad cranks… Not just snake
oil salesmen but snake oil customers at the same time.
Immune to the accumulating evidence that free market
economics is not only responsible for the economic
crash of 2008, but also the ever-closer ecological catastrophe.” Moreover, the people who attended the conference, he noted, “are having a real influence on American
politics. They are just one of the hundreds of Koch
and Exxon funded think tanks and fake grassroots
campaigns that have frustrated and blocked Obama’s
administration at every turn.”
In short, the climate change denial effort appears
to be composed of three main groupings. At the
bottom of this social milieu, the base of the denier
social pyramid, are individuals who are skeptical and
disdainful of anything scientists or intellectuals have
to say. They often assume that left-wing conspiracies are afoot (in which climate scientists participate,
consciously to get government grants or as foolish
dupes). In Montague’s view, many of these individuals
feel that their intellectual abilities are not appreciated
by society and are resentment towards academics
who appear to be reaping the rewards of social recognition. However, Public Policy Polling has found that
58% of self-identified Republicans believe climate
change is a hoax, suggesting a broader conservative political ideology—namely a commitment to
an unbridled productivist ethic—promoting climate
change denial.
The second tier of the denier pyramid is populated by
what Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway call “the merchants
of doubt,” a set of individuals (eg, media pundits like
Rush Limbaugh and George Will) and organizations
that work systematically to sow seeds of uncertainty in
the public’s understanding and concern about climate
change. Exemplary is the aforementioned Heartland
Institute—although there are multiple organizations
engaged in climate change misinformation—which views
itself as a think tank. In a 2011 editorial the journal Nature
exposed the organizations scientific credibility: “It would
be easy for scientists to ignore the Heartland Institute’s
climate conferences. They are curious affairs designed
to gather and share contrarian views, in which science is
secondary to wild accusations and political propaganda….
The Heartland Institute and its ilk are not trying to build a
theory of anything. They have set the bar much lower, and
are happy muddying the waters”.
The pinnacle of the climate change denier pyramid
is occupied by corporations and their organizational
creations that have both significant vested economic
interests in blocking legislation that might limit the
production of greenhouse gases and, as a result, are
highly motivated to fund denier campaigns. Key entities include Donors Trust, a group of very conservative
and very wealth British citizens who funnel money anticlimate change think tanks in the US, Koch Industries
and Exxon Mobil. Green Peace, for example, reports
that Koch Industries has provided over $65 million in
funding to denier groups since 1997.
Climate change deniers often style themselves as skeptics. Without question, scientific skepticism is healthy. In
fact, science by its very nature is skeptical. Genuine skepticism means considering the full body of evidence before
coming to a conclusion. However, when you take a close
look at climate change arguments denial, what you observe
is cherry picking of pieces of evidence while rejecting any
data that don’t fit the desired picture. This isn’t skepticism;
it is ignoring the facts and rejecting science.
Merrill Singer has a dual appointment as anthropology
professor and senior research scientist at the University
of Connecticut’s Center for Health, Intervention and
Prevention. His current research focuses on both drug use
and HIV risk and environmental health issues, including
the impact of global warming on international health.
Published October 28, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
MIDDLE EAST MUDDLE
Dancing through Istanbul
Daniel Martin Varisco
Qatar U
Turkey is all over the news these days. Former Prime
Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is
10
seen by liberals as attempting to be a new “Islamist”
Neo-Ottoman Sultan and by Bible Belters as a top
candidate for the Antichrist. Earlier last summer there
were the riots in Gezi Square. Thousands of Syrians
and Kurds have now flooded over the border fleeing
the advancing black-flagged IS/ISIS/ISIL forces. But
beyond the CNN-level sound bites, Turkey remains
a touristic paradise, especially for the historic sites of
Istanbul. I spent the recent Islamic Eid holiday in the
Sultan Ahmet tourist hub of Istanbul, with travelers
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
IN FOCUS
from just about everywhere crowding the streets and
tram stops. Near the imperial splendor of the Topkapi
palace are two must-see architectural wonders, the
Hagia Sophia of Byzantine fame and the majestic Sultan
Ahmet mosque. Spread out along the main tramway
and narrow alleys are a multitude of small hotels and
restaurants, most offering the ubiquitous kebab cuisine.
Given the crowds of tourists lining up to see the
major sites, I opted for the more prudent option of
walking the streets. The ethnographer in me wanted
to see the bustle of life today rather than take in the
jewels of Ottoman heritage, precious as those can be.
So in this mindset I danced through the side streets and
narrow alleyways, absorbing the everyday mix of new
and old. Turkey today thrives on its Ottoman past. The
major Islamic empire of half a millennium never erased
its Byzantine Christian or Jewish past. As unfashionable as the old binaries are today (whether East vs West,
Ottoman Era vs Ataturk, liberal vs conservative), the
ghosts of the Orient Express pervade and define this
historic part of Istanbul. Across the street from a kebab
restaurant you can find a McDonalds or a Burger King
or a Domino’s Pizza, as though fast food heals all political wounds. There are couples holding hands: some
with the man in a t-shirt alongside his wife in niqab,
others as though romantic tourists are strolling along
the Champs-Élysées in Paris. On the face of a clothing
INEQUALITY
store is a giant image of a scantily clad woman advertising Victoria’s Secret-like underwear for public view;
across the street a modern mosque is squeezed in beside
the dens of modern commerce.
The Istanbul on display to the world defies pigeonholing as either European or Oriental. In Ataturk
International Airport, the duty free stores sell as much
Chivas whiskey as any other major airport, while many
of the cafes feature Efes Pilsen beer alongside the
unmatchable Turkish coffee. There are mosques everywhere, some centuries old and showing the wear of
their age, but the latest boutiques also abound. There is
even an Eataly in Istanbul, and of course, an Ikea. In the
1980s, when I first visited Istanbul on a Fulbright fellowship, I was amazed to find virtually naked centerfolds
in major Turkish newspapers. When I naively asked a
Turkish friend why a major newspaper would put such
a risque photograph inside, I was told the obvious: sex
sells. Erotic overlap in advertising is still as visible in
Istanbul as Vienna or Berlin or New York.
Of all the images, the one that most captured my
attention to the neoliberalized neon schizophrenia of
Istanbul today is an image used to entice tourists to see
local dance performances (see the online version of this
essay for the image). Here you will notice the whirling
dervish heritage above the exotic belly dance, both the
religious and the secular serving the commercial need
of an economy that thrives on international tourism.
Turkey has been touted as offering a middle way for an
Islamic majority country, the middle maintaining the
secularity that Europe and America see as a buffer to the
various Islamic resurgence movements of the past half
century. Reconciling Ataturk with Erdogan’s Islamic
wave requires a delicate dance step, one that does not
waltz too closely to the Eurozone’s secular whims, yet
one that avoids the dangerous tango with extremist
groups like the Muslim Brotherhood or ISIS/ISIL/IS.
For the time being and for the foreseeable future, given
the massive influx of tourist Euros and dollars, you have
an invitation to dance through the secularly blessed
sacred precincts of a welcoming Istanbul.
Daniel Martin Varisco is president of the American
Institute for Yemeni Studies. Since 1978 he has conducted
ethnographic and historical research in Yemen, Egypt
and Qatar. His latest book is Reading Orientalism: Said
and the Unsaid (2007). He currently serves as editor of
Contemporary Islam and editor-in-chief of CyberOrient
(www.cyberorient.net).
Published October 15, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
OTRA ECONOMÍA OTRA SOCIEDAD
Self-organization, Integration and Homeless
People
Ana Inés Heras
Argentinean Research Council
Some people are stigmatized as excluded, marginalized, poor, homeless and helpless, and other categories
with which western capitalist societies tend to label
the living situation of people who do not conform
to common sense patterns of the market economy.
Palleres (2004) has documented that over time, people
living on the streets are signified as lacking (a home
or shelter, abilities to work, capacity to conform to
the norm). It is seldom that what people living on the
streets know and can do is documented, analyzed
and interpreted in key of contribution. Many of
the so-called excluded, marginalized and homeless,
however, have been developing a collective position of
their own, and a critical thinking process about their
living experience which, in turn, informs the conceptualization of self-management, collective decisionmaking and social solidarity economy. In this post I
will show some of these processes and reflect on their
contributions in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Espacio Carlos Mugica are a collective group
composed of people who live on the street and by organizations that support people who live on the street. Its
main purpose is to participate in the design, implementation and assessment of public policy to protect the
rights those who live on the streets.
www.anthropology-news.org
Funded in 2012, this collective of organizations was
built taking into account the work of another network
(la Red en la Calle) which existed between 2010 and
2012, and whose main purpose was to help put together
a law specifically directed to protect homeless people´s
rights.
However, as documented by Ávila, Palleres, Colantoni
and Sangroni (2014), both the Red and the Espacio, as
organizations, bring together a prior history of attempts
to self-organize and reclaim the voice of those who
live on the street. According to these authors, the 2001
crisis in Argentina aggravated the situation of people
who were at the verge of supporting their lives within
the market economy, and many of them lost their jobs,
their homes and drastically changed their daily living
patterns. However, it was during those years (2001–03)
that, simultaneously, a process of direct political organization started.
In this way, paradoxically, the same crisis that pushed
thousands of people to the streets was the scenario
in which self-organization, direct decision making
and political horizontal participation made possible
specific collective practices by homeless people. As
early as 2003–04, people living on the streets started
to organize by establishing a meeting point in the city
of Buenos Aires, where, weekly, they would discuss
their issues and find ways of taking action, collectively.
Primarily, their actions were geared towards supporting
their lives (food, shelter, health), yet very soon, they
focused on issues of public policy.
It was out of this process that one specific organization called Proyecto 7 started to advocate for the rights
of street people. This organization sustained their work
over the years, and recently started to self-manage an
Integration Center. This is the first organization, world
wide, self-managed by homeless men.
Anthropologist Palleres (2004) documented that in
Argentina, prior to 2004 didn’t exist an organization
conducted by people living on the street, a phenomenon
that was found in other parts of the world; she documented that Proyecto 7 is the first in kind for Argentina.
As documented elsewhere (Pagotto and Heras,
2014a) the Espacio Mugica has been able to put to
debate a specific way of conceptualizing what counts
as support when it comes to understanding the situation of people who live on the street. Support, for this
collective of organizations, is defined as a frame of
reference in which people network with other people
in order to take care of themselves at the same time
they advocate for their rights. This conceptual frame is
different than the one most prevalent in public policy,
oriented towards defining people who live on the
streets as people who can´t organize, nor participate
in public policy decision-making processes (Heras and
See
Self-organization on page 12
11
| January/February 2015
Self-organization
continued from page 11
Pagotto, 2014). In this manner, support, self-organization, and advocacy are pillars of a way of conceiving
political participation by people who currently live on
the streets. Additionally, the Espacio Mugica has also
emphasized that one of the ways in which this conceptual frame is put to work is by exchanging knowledge among the different organizations that network
together and by critically examining their practice
(Pagotto y Heras, 2014 b).
These orientations are also held by other organizations, such as the Isauro Arancibia Educational Center
(IAEC hereafter) or the [email protected] de Calle. The IAEC
started their work during 1998, prior to the big 2001
economic and political Argentinean crisis, aimed at
supporting the educational process of children, youth
and adults for whom the public school system failed.
The teachers who funded the IAEC started noticing
that such student population was—for the most part—
IN FOCUS
living on the streets. These teachers advocated for the
public school system to allow for a specific educational center that would work with a critical pedagogy
approach and foster schooling for this specific population. Over the years they organized as a self-managed
public school.
In turn, their educational practice supported youth
attending the IAEC to conform their own organization ([email protected] de Calle). They started to work
as a group during 2014, and their main goal is to
design and implement a collective housing project.
Meanwhile they have networked to contest a governmental decision to demolish their school, since the
IAEC is now housed in a building that is under
dispute (the current Buenos Aires administration is
arguing to tear it down in order to modernize the
transportation system).
What is original about [email protected] de calle is that it is
an organization composed by young people, it starts out
within an educational project, and it is geared towards
re-thinking the issue of housing from a collective, cooperative perspective.
I end on a reflective note, posed as rhetorical questions: Could it be that those who seem to be out of the
system are contributing to push our thinking about
the system all together? Is it that they are proposing
us to practice a different way of living, one based on
the collective good? And finally, what can we identify
when we look at the importance of combining support
with self-organization and advocacy for all? May this be
an important contribution by those who seem to have
nothing?
Ana Inés Heras earned her MA and PhD in education
(1995) with a Fulbright scholarship at UC Santa Barbara.
She currently studies participants’ collective learning
processes at autonomous, self-managed organizations
in contemporary Argentina, focusing on how diversity is
understood in such processes.
Published October 27, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
METHODS MALL 2015
NSF-Supported Courses on Research Methods for Anthropologists
FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
FOR THOSE WITH THE PHD
Summer Institute for Research Design
in Cultural Anthropology (SIRD) | 3 weeks
Research design for graduate students who are
developing dissertation projects in cultural anthropology
(July 13–31).
Short Courses on Research Methods in Cultural
Anthropology (SCRM) | 5 days
Ethnographic Field School (EFS) | 5 weeks
Ethnographic field school. Qualitative and quantitative
methods of data collection in the context of participatory
action research. In Tallahassee, FL (June 28-August 1).
Short Course on Research Design (SCRD) | 5 days
Research design and proposal writing for social and
behavioral scientists (July 20-24). Members of
underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.
Summer Institute in Museum
Anthropology (SIMA) | 4 weeks
FOR ALL
Methods for the study of museum collections. Graduate
students in cultural anthropology and related fields. Held
at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
in Washington, DC (June 22-July 17).
Workshops in Research Methods in Anthropology
(WRMA) | 1 day
APPLY TO ALL THESE PROGRAMS BY MARCH 1, 2015
Text Analysis (July 13-17); Statistics in Ethnographic
Research (July 20-24); Cultural Domain Analysis (July
27-31).
Workshops at the meetings of the American
Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied
Anthropology. Links to applications for these workshops
at: http://www.qualquant.org/methodsmall/workshops
Online Courses on Research Methods in Cultural
Anthropology (Online-RMA)
Fee-based university courses developed with support
from NSF to provide training in the collection and
analysis of anthropological data. Apply at:
http://www.distance.ufl.edu/rma
FULL INFORMATION AND APPLICATION FORMS AT THE METHODS MALL: QUALQUANT.ORG
12
www.anthropology-news.org
A SSOC IATION BUSIN ESS
January/February 2015 |
A S S O C I AT I O N B U S I N E S S
2014 AAA President’s Report
Monica Heller
AAA President
This report is divided into
three parts. The first part
takes a look at what we have
accomplished in the last year
with respect to our goals of
constructing a better public
presence and better external
relations. The second examines what has happened
within the association, or
more precisely, how we are
trying to (re)shape ourselves,
more or less constantly, to make the AAA as useful
a space as possible for members. It will close with a
consideration of what look to be some of the major
issues we need to think about in 2015.
A Better Public Presence
For several years now, we have worked hard at bringing
anthropology into public debate and public awareness,
locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. This
year we have made progress on our internal ability to
keep on top of, and respond to, breaking news, as well
as on shaping stories. I will mention a few highlights.
These include work by our Task Forces, as well as four
major interventions in both national and international
discussions, and increased relations with sister organizations. Also, I need to mention that I became the first
tweeting AAA president (follow me @anthroprez).
Interventions in Public Debate
One example is our well-received response to a book by
former New York Times science editor, Nicholas Wade,
A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human
History (published in March 2014 by Penguin). With the
rapid mobilization of key colleagues (Agustin Fuentes,
Alan Goodman and Jonathan Marks), and the use of our
new webinar infrastructure, we were able to establish a
strong counter-narrative to Wade’s astonishingly wellpublicized attempts to bring back social Darwinism.
Second, largely due to the efforts of our executive
director and staff, we have consistently responded,
together with sister US-based social science organizations, to the unceasing stream of US lawmaker
efforts which seriously threaten anthropology funding
programs, both in terms of available resources and
in terms of the degree of close oversight government
wishes to exert on thematic eligibility. As the executive director will no doubt report, we are aiming to
construct strong relations with Congressional staffers
so that it becomes increasingly possible to educate
elected officials about anthropology, not simply react to
their initiatives.
www.anthropology-news.org
Third, we continue to develop, on our own and
in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, a
public education initiative on mobilities, migration and
displacement, with a core team involving members
from around the US, as well as from Europe. Our goal
is to use the classic anthropological strategy of making
the familiar strange and the strange familiar, in order to
place the often fractious contemporary debates around
immigration in a much broader context in which we can
take stock of the fact that moving around is a normal
thing for humans, and that we all have migration stories
of one kind or another. We aim to do this in participatory rather than transmission-pedagogy ways; we want
to get people talking and listening.
Fourth, thanks to the organizational skills of our executive director and of one of our members (Sharon Alane
Abramowitz), with the help of the World Council of
Anthropological Associations, and the financial support
of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Guggenheim
Foundation, George Washington University, and the
International Development Research Centre (Canada),
we are developing an initiative to use anthropological
expertise to help stem the spread of the ebola virus, as
well as to address the suffering it causes. We hope the
international communication infrastructure developed
through this initiative will lay the groundwork for better
coordinated rapid responses to global health crises and
global health concerns generally, not only among anthropologists worldwide, but also among anthropologists,
health professionals, health agencies and government.
I should also mention that we are examining how to
participate in emerging conversations about redefinitions
of World Bank safeguards against inappropriate use of
World Bank development funds, and in particular regarding concerns that these redefinitions might make it easier
for recipients to sidestep monitoring effects of development on indigenous populations and on the environment.
Task Forces
Three task forces set up a few years ago submitted their
final reports this year: the Task Force on Anthropology
and (K-12) Education, the Global Climate Change Task
Force, and the Task Force on Race and Racism. All
three reports are (or will soon be) available on the AAA
website. I would like to thank the chairs and members
of all three for their remarkable work. Follow-through
on their recommendations will take a number of forms,
from releasing a statement on humanity and climate
change, to strategies to work towards the inclusion of
anthropology in K-12 curriculum, to the development
of a survey instrument that will allow AAA to regularly
track our progress on the inclusion of racialized minorities within the association, and within the discipline
more broadly. (Let me also mention parenthetically
that with the help of EB member Ramona Perez and
the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology, we
are working on ways to evaluate the extent of, in order
to better counter, sexual harassment in anthropological
activity, from training to workplace to the field.)
Two other task forces are presently at work (their
charges are available on the AAA website). The Task
Force on Cultural Heritage is due to report to the
Executive Board in May 2015. In the meantime, its
co-chair, Terry Majewski, is representing the AAA
on a working group initiated by the Associação
Brasileira de Antropología, and including the Society
for American Archaeology, to explore the establishment of a UNESCO-sponsored Interamerican Forum
on Cultural Heritage. The Task Force on Israel/Palestine
is due to report to the Executive Board in October 2015.
Its members are present at this meeting, benefiting
from conversations going on here and the availability of
members with a wide range of expertise and viewpoints
to gather information.
On this topic, I would like to take a moment to quote
myself and my colleagues, so as to ensure that our goals
circulate as widely as possible. The following is from a text
written by me, Alisse Waterston, Hugh Gusterson and Ed
Liebow, and published in Anthropology News last spring:
The debate over Israel/Palestine is historically important and
anthropologically relevant. We believe the association is well
placed to offer AAA members a chance to gain an anthropologically informed perspective on the region and the broader questions
it raises, and to participate in productive conversations about them.
Our members can provide us with a diverse set of lenses through
which to understand and illuminate these questions.
Just as importantly, we have an opportunity here to develop modes
of mutually respectful exchange on controversial anthropological
topics that will serve us well now and in the future. After all, anthropologists work at understanding multiple perspectives for a living–
indeed, it is one of our signature strengths. If we are able to have a
focused conversation in which opposing views can be expressed,
and complexities can be acknowledged and understood, we will
have made progress in exploring how to make dialogue work
despite–or maybe because of–difference. In and of itself we believe
this is a worthy goal.
We know that this subject is controversial and has the potential to
be divisive, but we think our approach can actually strengthen the
association. It is important to facilitate exchange in ways that allow
members to feel they have had a chance to learn what they want to
learn, and say what they want to say, in ways that respect the integrity of anthropology and the legitimacy of our members’ perspectives. It is also important to take the time to have this conversation
well, and with all interested members–recognizing that while some
of us have been thinking about some of these issues for a long time,
others may well be relatively new to this set of topics, and deserve
to have the chance to inform themselves to their satisfaction.
Relations with Sister Organizations
We have coordinated joint panels with the American
Association of Applied Linguistics and the Linguistic
Society of America, at their conferences, and this week,
at ours. Thanks to Niko Besnier and the Society for
Linguistic Anthropology for helping set up both.
We have successfully negotiated a joint conference in
2019 with the Canadian Anthropology Society/Société
canadienne d’anthropologie. By the time of the 2014
See
President’s Report on page 14
13
A SSOC IATION BUSIN ESS
| January/February 2015
President’s Report
continued from page 13
Business Meeting, I might even be able to tell you where
it will be held.
At the invitation of Junji Koizumi, President of the
Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA),
a delegation from AAA attended the IUAES intercongress and 50th anniversary JASCA conference in May,
presenting our public education initiative, and a threepart joint AAA-JASCA panel. I attended a meeting of
the World Council of Anthropological Associations
(WCAA) at the beginning of the conference, as well as
the WCAA biennial meeting in Taiwan in September.
The WCAA also meets during our conference. A
major issue on the WCAA agenda continues to be the
renegotiation of its relationship with a newly restructured International Union of Anthropological and
Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), whose new president,
by the way, is our own Faye Harrison.
Finally, I attended the annual meeting of the
Canadian Anthropology Society/Société canadienne
d’anthropologie in May and the biennial meeting of the
Associação Brasileira de Antropología in August; Alisse
Waterston and Ted Hamman represented the AAA at the
biennial meeting of the European Association of Social
Anthropologists in Tallinn in July; and Ed Liebow attended
the conference of the Sociedad Mexicana de Antropología
in August. Setha Low (an AAA past president) is currently
working with Mexican colleagues on collaboration in
the context of the 2015 conference in Mexico of the
Asociación Latinoamericana de Antropología.
Association Issues
Supporting Members in the Workforce
Last spring, the association voted to endorse a resolution
introduced at last year’s Business Meeting, regarding
contingent and part time academic labor. I have asked
the Committee on Labor Relations to provide advice
regarding best practices in the employment of adjunct
and contingent faculty. More broadly, we are trying
to understand the contours of the labour market for
anthropologists, and how the association can best
support our members and the discipline under these
conditions. Our attention to the recruitment, retention
and professional advancement of racialized and other
minoritized anthropologists is a key element of this
broader concern.
Committee Structures
Our ability to accomplish the goals of our committees
has been challenged increasingly in recent years, especially, interestingly, in the case of committees composed
entirely or largely of elected members. We have difficulty recruiting and retaining committee members, and
especially chairs; there are often no established procedures for continuity; there is little engagement from
committee members, lack of clarity about objectives,
and poor communication within and across committees, and between committees and other AAA entities.
A working group of the Executive Board is currently
examining this problem, in consultation with committee
chairs. I have asked them to report on possible alternative structures that preserve our ability to achieve the
goals we want committees to achieve, while solving the
problems in doing so. The Executive Board will make a
decision on how to move forward at its meeting in May.
Articulation between Section Assembly Leadership
Under current arrangements there is little articulation
between the Section Assembly Executive Committee
(SAEC) and the two EB members elected as Section
Assembly representatives, The SAEC has developed a
proposal to address this problem structurally, which
will be submitted to the Executive Board. Any changes
approved by the EB will likely require a change in
bylaws, and hence a membership vote.
Looking Ahead to 2015
In the next few months we will continue to work on most
of the issues we focussed our attention in 2014. There
is one foundational issue I do want to flag however:
sustainability and diversification of revenue. I have asked
The Impact of a Little
Angela Storey
AAA Resource Development Committee
I’ll be honest: as a graduate student, I don’t often have
surplus income. When I do, I think very closely about
what to do with it. This year I chose to make a small
contribution to support internships for undergraduate and early-graduate anthropology students. I was
motivated to make this small contribution because
my own early forays into research are what built my
passion for anthropology. Those chances made me see
that anthropology isn’t just work to read about, but is
a practice I could engage in myself. Supporting internships helps me provide that kind of opportunity to
other students.
I’d like to ask my fellow graduate students to also
consider making small, voluntary contributions
to internship and outreach programs that provide
students with initial steps into the discipline. A
14
contribution of even $10 helps keep these internships
running, and also demonstrates to interns the importance that we place in these experiences and in the
potential of them as individual students.
If you do not know about the AAA summer internship program, or the other educational and outreach
work that AAA does throughout the year, I encourage
you to visit the website. You can also dig out your
November/December 2014 issue of AN to read Maria
Vesperi’s interviews with our two excellent 2014
summer interns. These young people had a chance
to spend six weeks in the DC area, interning with
research or curatorial projects and also engaging in
work with the AAA. Equally important is that this
internship is funded, which means that interning
students are provided with free housing and with a
stipend for meals and travel.
The 2014 interns—Joshua Anderson and Katie
Patschke—worked with the Naval History and
Ted Hamann, our treasurer, and Linda Whiteford, chair
of our Resource Development Committee, to initiate a
process of planning for revenue diversification. Much
of our revenue is generated through publications royalties, membership dues and meetings registration. We
are probably well-acquainted by now with the concerns
facing the sustainability of our publications portfolio,
and we have wonderful volunteer committee members
and an expert publications department doing stellar
work in working towards sustainability. The pilot open
access project of the journal Cultural Anthropology will
teach us a lot. Membership and meeting attendance
continue to be high. We need to bear in mind the two
groups driving this growth are students and attendees
from outside the United States. Students are likely
motivated at least in part by precarity, and I believe we
should investigate and try to address their concerns.
Registration of members from outside the US is now at
23% of total attendance; it would serve us well to try to
get a sense of the position of the AAA in an increasingly
interconnected international discipline, and to try to
shape the role we would like to play. Costs of attending
the meeting continue to be of concern to a variety of
types of members (eg, contingent and adjunct faculty,
students, some retirees, anthropologists with no access
to travel grants), as well as to members who are interested in bringing in non-anthropologists. It is increasingly difficult to find unionized facilities. Diversifying
revenue and find new means to sustain it would help us
address some of those concerns.
In this first year as president I have been struck by
the power of anthropological approaches to understanding just about anything. I have also learned a great
deal about how anthropologists ask questions, including
questions you didn’t know were there to be asked. I do
think we have the ability to use this association as a safe
space to do that, in the service of broad enquiry, and
in the service of managing to hold in one frame many
ways of knowing and of being in the world. People
laugh when I say that what can look like fragmentation
is actually our signature strength–but I mean it. In the
upcoming year, let’s use it well.
Heritage Command and the Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of African Art, respectively. Their
internships offered the chance to see the inner workings of research and curatorial institutions, as well
as to develop their own skills by engaging in specific
projects. Joshua and Katie also spent a portion of
their internship working on educational and outreach
programs at the AAA office.
Graduate students colleagues, these interns are us
a few years ago. They are eager for opportunities and
excited about anthropology. Amazingly, it doesn’t cost
that much to fund each of these interns, which means
that small contributions to the program go a long way
in making these internships happen. The next time
you renew your AAA membership, I hope that you will
add $10 or more to the “Internship Program Fund”—
or, also importantly, to one of the other funds that
supports AAA educational and outreach work. These
programs exist only because we, as AAA members,
have elected to support them each year. I hope you
will join me to support these important programs
in 2015.
www.anthropology-news.org
A SSOC IATION BUSIN ESS
January/February 2015 |
FROM ED’S DESK
New Web Presence Coming Soon
Ed Liebow
AAA Executive Director
We are overhauling the
association’s web presence in 2015. It will be
better
consolidated,
easier to navigate, easier
to search, more interactive, and graphically more
sophisticated. Content
that is currently spread
out over seven domains
will be consolidated into
two. Easy access will be provided via mobile devices
and tablets. Full compliance will be achieved with
the Americans with Disabilities Act. The point is
to provide an improved user experience that allows
for better communication with anthropologists and
the general public, encourages frequent visits and
interactivity.
Currently our web presence includes AnthroSource
(our publications portfolio), our main web site (aaanet.
org), six other domains (Open Anthropology, This
Is Anthropology, our two public education initiative
portals on race and migration, the AAA blog, and
Anthropology News). In addition, we host about half of
the AAA Sections’ websites.
Redesign and consolidation will incorporate content
and functionality from:
• Open Anthropology
• AAA Ethics Blog
• This is Anthropology
• Understanding Race
• Understanding Migration
Sites and domains that will not be part of this consolidation include:
• AAA Blog
• Anthropology News
• AAA Section websites
The AnthroSource 2.0 portal is being redeveloped
by our publishing partner, Wiley-Blackwell. We have
provided significant input on the features, navigation,
and format for this site through user experience testing
with AAA members, input from the Committee for
the Future of Print and Electronic Publishing, and diligent monitoring by Publishing Director Oona Schmid
and myself.
The Anthropology News website has been refreshed
over the past few months. Under the able supervision of Managing Editor Amy Goldenberg and Digital
Editorial Assistant Elyse Bailey, a swarm of contributors provide new content weekly. This material remains
publicly accessible for four months before being
archived in AnthroSource. Its layout is cleaner and
more easily navigable, and its use of images is attractive. The refreshed site features a responsive design,
which lets it adjust automatically to mobile devices and
tablets. In 2015, the AAA blog will be integrated in the
Anthropology News site.
www.anthropology-news.org
These long-awaited updates are a big deal. And an
even bigger deal is the main site’s overhaul. Why now?
And why a major overhaul? It should be quite clear
that there is no such thing as a “fix it once and for all”
website redesign. And it is equally clear that we should
avoid repeating the redesign process every few years
like spendthrift amnesiacs. At the same time, our incremental fixes over the years did little to address some
significant user experience problems. And they have
resulted in a proliferation of sites, each with distinct
information architecture (platform, content management system, customized applications), accompanied
by overly complicated and inefficient management
requirements.
Thanks to the Internet Archive (with a nod to
Peabody and Sherman, affectionately known as “The
Wayback Machine”), we can take a stroll through the
past 15 years of AAA’s web presence. Full disclosure: I
was a part of an advisory group on electronic communications, appointed by Yolanda Moses and Jane Hill
in 1997, chaired by Jon Anderson and included Peter
Peregrine, Jeanette Blomberg, Tony Gault and David
Hakken, that helped launch the AAA’s first website in
1999. Here’s a thumbnail summary of the past 15 years
of aaanet.org:
• May 1999: Earliest web presence for AAA
• May 2000: Added logo, along with a blue background for the left-hand navigation field
• June 2002: To commemorate AAA’s centennial,
we rolled out a new graphic look
• June 2005: AnthroSource launched as an online
member benefit
• April 2007: Debut of the Race Exhibition and
website
• February 2008: Current design launched
• May 2009: Electronic voting for members
established
• June 2009: Established Twitter handle
(@AmericanAnthro)
• February 2011: Our social media presence is in
full force
• December 2012: First issue of Open
Anthropology
• March 2013: AAA’s hosting of This is
Anthropology launched—a collaborative effort
between AAA and students who started it in
response to Florida Governor Rick Scott
• May 2013: Advertising on website is well
established
For a series of screenshots that capture our web presence since May 1999, check out the online version of
this column.
In the first quarter of 2015, Anthrosource 2.0 will
be launched. For the main AAA site, our outside
web development consultant will be undertaking a
process of discovery, establishing user requirements
by consulting with AAA members and staff, and planning a design strategy for the revamped information
architecture. In the second and third quarters, we
expect development and site integration work to be
completed, and then, after thorough testing, the new
site will be live.
With my best wishes for a healthy, productive, and
happy new year!
National Anthropology Day
February 19, 2015
http://bit.ly/NationalAnthropologyDay
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Meet the Staff
D Rachael Bishop joined
the American Anthropological Association as the director
of communications and public
affairs in October 2014.
A career science communications professional, she has
more than 25 years’ experience in all aspects of the trade
spanning journalism, academic research centers, professional societies and foundations, federal and state agencies
and publishing. Most recently, Rachael worked for the
American Chemical Society as manager of public policy
communications leading national media campaigns and
advocacy efforts on issues common to both the physical
and social sciences, including: federal science funding,
open access to scientific research, globalizing influences,
climate change, scientific integrity of professional testimony, consumer choices and waste and many other subjects.
Rachael specializes in translating complex scientific,
economic, and policy topics to language that appeals
to lay audiences. Her articles and opinion pieces have
appeared nationally and internationally in such publications as The Economist, The Atlantic, Pacific Northwest
Magazine, Vermont Magazine, Washington CEO and
numerous newspapers. For four years, she wrote a
food and wine column for Albemarle Magazine. From
2009–14, she designed and taught writing and literature
courses for the University of Virginia. She continues to
offer weekend workshops.
She received her Master’s in Fine Arts from Hamline
University in 2008. Her critical thesis examining the
factors behind boys’ failing interest and engagement in
reading won Hamline University’s Jane Resh Thomas
prize for critical scholarship. She received her BA in
history from the University of California, Davis in 1985,
with substantial coursework in the physical and social
sciences, energy policy and languages.
In 1981–82, she lived and attended school at Fosen
Folkehøgskole, in Rissa, Norway, above the Arctic
A A A 2015 E X ECUTI V E BOA R D
Circle, studying traditional farming, seamanship and
Norwegian.
She continues to maintain diverse interests in East
European and Arctic history and culture, marine issues,
gardening, cooking, the environment and public policy.
Rachael lives in northern Virginia, where she is raising
two teenage sons, one with a passion for baseball and
the other with a fondness for music and psychology.
Among them, they have three cats.
Tatiana M Cornejo joined
AAA in September 2014 as
the AnthroGuide and publications coordinator. In this
role, she manages the development of the eAnthroGuide
database, print AnthroGuide
and guide websites. She also
supports the Anthropological Communication Committee.
Tatiana comes to AAA with two years of experience in the insurance industry. There, she developed customer service and marketing skills that she
hopes to implement in her outreach strategies for the
AnthroGuide.
Tatiana received her BA in anthropology from James
Madison University (Go Dukes!) where she was heavily
involved on-campus as a student leader in the Latino
Student Alliance (LSA). LSA helped contribute to the
campus and surrounding community through volunteer work and cultural awareness events. She has
continued to give back to her community by becoming
the co-chair of communications for the Arlington
Latino Network. The network works to disseminate
information to Latino students in Arlington about
opportunities for higher education, a cause that she
fervently supports.
In her spare time, Tatiana enjoys watching independent and foreign films, playing her guitar, and trying to
get on Jeopardy.
President
Monica Heller (2013–15)
[email protected]
President-Elect/Vice President
Alisse Waterston (2013–15)
[email protected]
Secretary
Margaret Buckner (2012–15)
[email protected]
Archaeology Seat
Elizabeth Chilton (2014–17)
[email protected]
Biological Seat
Lorena Madrigal (2014–17)
[email protected]
Cultural Seat
A Lynn Bolles (2012–15)
[email protected]
Linguistic Seat
Jillian Cavanaugh (2014–17)
jc[email protected]
Minority Seat
Bernard Perley (2013–16)
[email protected]
Practicing/Professional Seat
Elizabeth Briody (2013–16)
[email protected]
Student Seat
Karen G Williams (2012–15)
[email protected]
Undesignated #1
Cheryl Mwaria (2012–15)
[email protected]
Undesignated #2
Mark Aldenderfer (2013–16)
[email protected]
Undesignated #3
AAA Membership
Keri Brondo (2014–17)
[email protected]
Undesignated #4
Rayna Rapp (2012–15)
[email protected]
Section Assembly Convenor
Renew your AAA membership to receive annual
meeting registration discounts and stay current
on the latest anthropological research.
www.aaanet.org/membership
Miguel Diaz-Barriga (2014–16)
[email protected]
Section Assembly EB #1
Karen Nakamura (2012–15)
[email protected]
Section Assembly EB #2
Ramona Perez (2013–16)
[email protected]
AAA Treasurer–Ex Officio
Edmund T Hamann (2012–15)
[email protected]
16
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A SSOC IATION BUSIN ESS
January/February 2015 |
FAMILIAR / STRANGE
Meet the 2015 Annual Meeting Program and Site
Committee
Ann B Stahl
Executive Program Committee Chair
Making the “familiar strange” and the “strange familiar”
is a durable strategy in the anthropological toolkit,
one that has for generations and across subfields been
used to spark in students those aha moments that are
often taken as a hallmark of anthropological insight.
Performance artists and activists have similarly deployed
the strategy with effect by transgressing boundaries in
order to provoke alternative imaginings among mainstream publics. As a pedagogical strategy for training
attention in new ways, it can be productive in denaturalizing the “taken-for-granted” and provide scaffolding
for new-found, often empathetic engagement. Yet this
lever for understanding is simultaneously a tool with
historical freight, smuggling in associations of exoticism
and primitivism in its elision of context and relations of
power and powerlessness. Its very durability and ubiquity encourages us to pause in these early decades of our
discipline’s second century to reflect on what Familiar/
Strange simultaneously opens up and nails down. As
outlined in this year’s call for papers for our November
2015 gathering in Denver (AN 55: 11-12[55]), we invite
innovative, multi- and cross-sub-disciplinary engagement with the Familiar/Strange dyad and its historical, contemporary and future roles in an anthropological toolkit by anthropologists and by our partners
in knowing (the communities with whom we work; the
publics we aim to reach).
In developing a program around the Familiar/Strange
theme, the Executive Program Committee (EPC) and
Site Committees (introduced below) further aspire
to: locate and connect our meeting to its place, which
is first and foremost the traditional territories of the
region’s indigenous peoples; generate interest among
and develop an attractive program for anthropologists
across our discipline’s traditional subfields and foster
www.anthropology-news.org
meaningful engagement among them; look beyond the
“American” in our association’s name and encourage
participation of and dialogue with practitioners of
anthropology in its global forms; and foster innovative
practice in connecting our meetings to our host city’s
diverse publics. As such we aim to build on initiatives
over recent years to have our annual meeting spill out
from the confines of the Colorado Convention Center
to engage the city’s and the region’s wider communities.
A diverse and distinguished group of scholars and
practitioners has generously agreed to roll up sleeves
and help make our Denver meeting an opportunity
to substantively engage the
program theme in creative
and innovative ways.
Working together, our EPC
and Site Committees look
forward to receiving your
ideas and working with you
to deliver on these aspirations. It is a pleasure to introduce committee members
here and in somewhat
fuller detail in AN online.
We encourage you to be in
touch with us as ideas pop
up and we look forward to
receiving your proposals for
executive sessions and innovative events for the 2015
AAA Annual Meeting.
2015 Executive Program Committee
Ann B Stahl, the 2015 EPC chair, is professor and chair
of the anthropology department at the University of
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Christina Kreps, chair of the 2015 Site Committee and
member of the EPC, is an associate professor in anthropology and director of museum studies at the University of
Denver where she also serves as director of the Museum
of Anthropology.
Mary L Gray is the past chair of the 2014 AAA
Executive Program Committee and ex-officio member
of the 2015 EPC. She is senior researcher at Microsoft
Research New England in Cambridge, MA and an
associate professor of communication and culture at
Indiana University.
Samuel Martínez is the 2016 EPC chair and an
ex-officio member of the 2015 EPC. He is an associate professor in anthropology at the University of
Connecticut and affiliated faculty with the Center for
Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Vered Amit is professor of anthropology at Concordia
University, Montreal.
Jillian R Cavanaugh is associate professor in the department of anthropology and archaeology at Brooklyn
College CUNY and the anthropology program at The
Graduate Center CUNY.
Manuela Ciotti is associate professor of Global Studies
at Aarhus University, Denmark, and Framing the Global
Fellow (2011–15) at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Micaela di Leonardo is professor of anthropology and
performance studies at Northwestern University.
Sevrin Fowles is assistant professor in anthropology
at Barnard College where he directs the archaeology
track in anthropology.
Aaron Glass is an assistant professor at the Bard
Graduate Center in New York City.
Alma Gottlieb is a professor in the anthropology department of the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign.
Debra L Martin is the Lincy Professor of Biological
Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Sofian Merabet is an assistant professor in the
University of Texas at Austin’s anthropology department.
Lawrence Schell is a professor in anthropology at the
University of Albany, New York and serves as director
of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health
Disparities.
Ty P Kāwika Tengan is an associate professor
jointly appointed to the departments of ethnic
studies and anthropology at the University of
Hawai’i at Mānoa.
2015 Site Committee
Christina Kreps, introduced above, is chair of the
Denver site committee which includes individuals from
a range of Colorado institutions.
Kathleen Fine-Dare is professor of anthropology,
affiliated professor of Native American and indigenous
studies, and professor and coordinator of the program
in gender and women’s studies at Fort Lewis College in
Durango, Colorado.
Esteban Gomez is an assistant professor in the department of anthropology at Colorado College
Michele Koons is a curator of archaeology at the
Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Christine Landrum is acting superintendent, Black
Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti
National Recreation Area and director for the Office of
Indian Affairs and American Culture in the National
Park Service.
John Lukavic is associate curator of Native Arts at the
Denver Art Museum.
Kafia Roland is an associate professor at the University
of Colorado, Boulder.
Zaneta Thayer is an assistant professor of biological
anthropology at University of Colorado Denver.
Communications about the program theme should
be addressed to 2015 Program Chair Ann B Stahl
and Site Committee Chair Christina Kreps at
[email protected]
All other annual meeting questions should be sent to AAA
staff at [email protected]
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11 4 T H A M E R I C A N A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L A S S O C I AT I O N A N N U A L M E E T I N G
General Rules for Participation
Denver, Colorado, November 18–22, 2015
Please be sure to review the rules for participation in its
entirety prior to submitting your proposals for the 2015
Annual Meeting.
Meeting Dates
The scholarly program of the 2015 AAA Annual
Meeting will begin in Denver, CO at noon on
Wednesday, November 18, and continue through noon
on Sunday, November 22.
Online Submission and Deadlines
Please check the AAA website (www.aaanet.org) in
January for online submission procedures. Be sure to
read the helpful hints posted with the online AAA
Annual Meeting call for papers. There are two different
deadlines:
a)Executive Session proposal deadline is February 17.
b)All other session proposals are due by 5:00 pm EST
(10:00 pm GMT) April 15.
Types of Sessions and Events
There are nine types of sessions and events: (1)
Executive Sessions submitted to and evaluated by the
Executive Program Committee; (2) Invited Sessions
organized by AAA sections—all sessions are reviewed
and eligible to be granted Invited by AAA Sections;
(3) Volunteered Sessions; (4) sessions constructed
from individually volunteered papers or posters; (5)
Retrospective Sessions (6) Public Policy Forums; (7)
Special Events; (8) Installations; and (9) Film Festival
Submissions. All sessions on the scholarly
program are to be submitted as a single (1.75
hours) session.
Executive Sessions
Proposals Due February 17
The 2015 AAA Executive Program Committee, in
association with AAA President Monica Heller, will
select a small number of executive sessions that speak
directly to the conference theme and serve to engage
the broad constituency of anthropologists and our
interlocutors. We particularly encourage proposals
that draw out anthropology’s shifting place in the
world in the widest sense: conceptual, political, social,
economic. Such sessions can be traditional panels with
papers, but we also encourage these to take different
formats. The Executive Session proposals (and these
proposals only) should be submitted online in the
abstract system by February 17.
Section Invited Sessions
Proposals Due April 15
Each AAA Section is responsible for the organization of one or more innovative, synthesizing sessions
18
intended to reflect the state-of-the-art and the
thematic concerns in the major subfields. Section
Program Editors will review the entire candidate pool
of submissions to determine sessions that will receive
Invited Status on the final program. To submit a
proposal for an invited session, go to www.aaanet.org
and follow the links to the call for papers. A session
abstract of up to 500 words is required. Participants
are bound by the rules of the meeting and must
submit final abstracts, meeting registration forms and
fees via www.aaanet.org by April 15.
Volunteered Sessions
Proposals Due April 15
All sessions must be submitted online at www.aaanet.
org. The organizer must select one appropriate section
for review. If accepted, the volunteered session will
be listed as part of the reviewing section’s program.
The program committee strongly urges members to
contact and work closely with section program editors
and to follow the guidelines:
• The organizer is responsible for articulating
the session theme and relevance in the session
abstract. Each paper should reflect the session’s
concept. Poorly integrated groupings are subject
to revision or distribution of papers to other
sessions.
• Session presentations and discussion periods
must be included in the proposal at the time of
submission. A maximum of 15 minutes will be
allotted for any single paper presentation, discussant, or discussion period.
• Papers within a proposed session will be evaluated individually. Organizers should be prepared
for the possibility that some proposed papers may
be rejected and others substituted or added.
• Audiovisual equipment must be requested with
the proposal submission. LCD projectors will be
provided for each scholarly session on the AAA
program. Audiovisual equipment must be operated by the participant. No changes to the original
audiovisual order submitted online may be made
after April 15.
• Every participant included in the proposal,
including paper presenters, roundtable presenters,
chairs, discussants and organizers must be registered to attend the annual meeting by April 15 to
appear in the program.
• Organizers must limit proposals to one session
with a total scheduled time of 1 hour and 45
minutes. There are no exceptions to this rule.
• All paper or poster presentation proposals must
be submitted via the AAA website.
• To submit a session, go to www.aaanet.org and
follow the links to the call for papers. A session
abstract of up to 500 words is required. Meeting
registration forms and fees must be submitted for
each participant. Submission deadline is 5:00 pm
EST (10:00 pm GMT) April 15.
Individually Volunteered Papers and
Posters
Proposals Due April 15
The program committee welcomes the submission
of individual papers and posters independent from
organized sessions. For evaluation purposes, the
author of each individually volunteered paper and
poster must select one appropriate section for the
review process.
To submit an individually volunteered paper or
poster, go to www.aaanet.org and follow the links to
the call for papers. A paper or poster abstract of up
to 250 words is required. Proposals must be accompanied by the meeting registration fee. Deadline is
5:00 pm EST (10:00 pm GMT) April 15. Accepted
volunteered papers and posters will be grouped by
the appropriate section program editor or executive
program committee into sessions around a common
topic or theme. A maximum of 15 minutes will be
allotted for each paper presentation.
Retrospective Sessions
Proposals Due April 15
New last year, Retrospective Sessions recognize the
career contributions of established leading scholars
(for example on the occasion of their retirement or
significant anniversary). These new sessions add to
the range of forms of contribution to anthropological
knowledge found on the scholarly program. Proposals
may be accepted by any regular sponsoring entity.
Public Policy Forums
Proposals Due April 15
AAA’s public policy forums provide a place to discuss
critical social issues affecting anthropology, public
policy issues of interest to anthropologists, and public
policy issues that could benefit from anthropological knowledge or expertise. They engage panelists
(who may or may not be anthropologists) and audience members in a discussion of public policy issues
to enhance the application of anthropological knowledge in society at large. Recognizing that there are
diverse perspectives on panel topics, public policy
forums seek to present balanced views to promote
dialogue among participants. Ideally, at least one policymaker will be included in each forum.
No papers are presented in public policy forums.
The ideal format includes a moderator and no more
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A SSOC IATION BUSIN ESS
January/February 2015 |
than seven panelists. Following introductions, the
moderator proceeds to pose questions to panelists as
a group or individually. Adequate time should be set
aside at the end of each forum for audience participation. Generally, each public policy forum is scheduled
for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Since the dual purpose of
the forum is to maximize discussion of policy issues
among the panelists and the audience, it is recommended the forum be structured as follows: introduction (15 minutes); moderator-posed questions and
answers (60 minutes); and audience questions and
comments (30 minutes).
To submit a public policy forum, go to www.
aaanet.org and follow the links to the call for papers.
In the submission area, select “public policy forum”
under the session option. Refer your proposal to the
AAA Committee on Public Policy for review, not a
section. When you complete the Session Structure
Form, identify the moderator and potential panelists
and note that your time allotment is 1 hour and 45
minutes. Submit an abstract of 500 words describing
the public policy issue to be discussed. The deadline for forum submissions is 5:00 pm EST (10:00 pm
GMT) April 15.
may propose performances, recitals, conversations,
author-meets-critic roundtables, salon reading workshops, oral history recording sessions and other alternative, creative forms of intellectual expression for
consideration. Selected Installations may be curated
for off-site exhibition and tied to the official AAA
conference program. Successful proposals will offer
attendees an opportunity to learn from a range of
vested interests not typically encountered or easily
found on the traditional AAA program. Installations
are meant to disrupt who and what we tend to see at
the annual meetings, helping attendees encounter new
people and to do different kinds of things at the intersections of anthropological arts, sciences, and cultural
expression. If you have an idea that might require
some organizational creativity or logistical advice,
please contact us as soon as possible at [email protected]
aaanet.org. Participation in an Installation is treated
as a primary role such as paper, poster and roundtable
presentations. Submission deadline is 5:00 pm EST
(10:00 pm GMT) April 15.
Special Event Proposals
The 2015 SVA/AAA Film, Video and Interactive
Media Festival will take place during the 114th AAA
Annual Meeting. As in the past, the Society for Visual
Anthropology (SVA) will select a jury of anthropologists and film scholars to decide which submissions
to include in the festival and which among those will
receive awards. SVA continues to welcome interactive media work and also encourages short work
that is under 15 minutes. DVD formats are acceptable. Submitted materials will not be returned. Please
check the SVA website in early February for submission details, including additional information on
preferred formats. Submission deadline is 5:00 pm
EST (10:00 pm GMT) April 15.
Award winners will be notified in the summer and
clips of award-winning films may be placed on SVA’s
website. For more information, see the SVA’s website
at www.societyforvisualanthropology.org.
Proposals Due April 15
Special Events are business meetings, committee and
board meetings, workshops, food and beverage functions, which will be scheduled as part of the special
events program and are the responsibility of the executive office.
To avoid conflicts with scientific sessions, most
special events are limited to 1 hour and 15 minutes
and are scheduled during the times 12:15 pm–1:30
pm and after 6:00 pm. To submit a special event
proposal, go to the AAA homepage. Follow the links
to the call for papers. All proposals must be submitted
online by April 15. First priority in the assignment
of time and space will be given to AAA and Section
business, board and committee meetings. Other
special events will be accommodated to the degree
possible. Please note that no special event or scholarly
program can be scheduled to conflict with the Annual
Business Meeting held on Thursday, November 19,
6:15 pm–7:30 pm.
For events sponsored by organizations other than
AAA Sections, Committees or Task Forces there is an
administrative fee of $500 to cover costs of arrangements and inclusion in the program. The Special
Events Program will not accommodate panels, papers
or professional presentations that belong on the scientific program. To be listed in the meeting program,
special event proposals must be accompanied by
administrative fees at the time of submission.
Installation Proposals
Proposals Due April 15
Installations invite anthropological knowledge off
the beaten path of the written conference paper. Like
work shared in art venues, presentations selected as
part of the AAA Installations program will draw on
movement, sight, sound, smell, and taste to dwell on
the haptic and engage AAA members and meeting
attendees in a diverse world of the senses. Presenters
www.anthropology-news.org
Media Submissions
Proposals Due April 15
Review Procedures
The AAA follows a policy of peer review and merit
consideration for acceptance and inclusion in the
program. Proposals for Executive Sessions should
be submitted in the abstract system by February 15.
The Executive Program Committee will review all
proposed executive sessions and deliver decisions by
March 17. Organizers of sessions not given this status
can still submit their information to any of the 40
AAA sections for review elsewhere on the scholarly
program.
Invited Sessions, Volunteered Sessions and
Individually Volunteered Papers and Posters are
reviewed by program editors and committees established by each AAA Section. Public Policy Forum
proposals are reviewed by the Committee on Public
Policy. Special Event proposals are reviewed and organized by the executive office. Installation proposals
are reviewed by the Executive Program Committee.
All submissions are due by April 15. There are no
exceptions to the deadline.
Organizers and presenters are required to select
one review section when submitting proposals
online. Secondary review sections may be selected
in the event the primary section editor wants to
transfer the submission. The decision should be
made on the basis of content and intended audience; membership in a section has no bearing on the
review process. The recommendations of sections
are forwarded to the Executive Program Chair,
who assumes final responsibility for the acceptance
or rejection of proposals. The Executive Program
Committee prepares the final program schedule
according to the rankings submitted by each Section.
All final program notifications about acceptance and
scheduling will be mailed by the Executive Program
Chair through the executive office. There is no
appeal process.
Presentation Policy
Participants may only: (1) present one paper or poster,
or serve as a participant on roundtable, retrospective
session or Installation and (2) serve as a discussant on
one other panel. The policy of one major presentation plus one discussant role will be strictly enforced.
The program committee will remove any name that
appears more than twice on the scholarly program
and urges individuals to refrain from accepting more
than one commitment of any kind in the scholarly program. A participant may be credited with
co-authorship of one or more additional papers when
co-authorship is understood to include participation
on a research project. Presenters’ names must appear
first. An individual may serve as organizer and/or
chair of any number of sessions.
Eligibility
No proposals for participation in the scholarly
program of the meeting can be considered unless
formally submitted online through the AAA website.
Participation is a benefit of AAA membership and
limited to current members. To update your membership or join, contact AAA at (1)703/528-1902, ext 1178
or visit www.aaanet.org. The membership requirement may be waived for scholars from other disciplines or for anthropologists from countries other
than the United States or Canada. In instances of
this membership waiver the participant must still
pay the nonmember meeting registration fee. Details
regarding this policy can be found online at www.
aaanet.org. Registration fees will not be waived for
any participant. All persons who expect to be listed
as participants on the scholarly and special events
program must register by 5:00 pm EST (10:00 p.m.
GMT) April 15. Registration fees will not be refunded
to participants who cancel their participation after
the submission deadline.
Refund Policy
Refunds are not available to participants who cancel
after April 15. Exceptions are made only if a proposal
is not accepted for inclusion in the 2015 Annual
Meeting Program. Instructions for receiving a refund
in the instance of a rejected proposal will be sent with
the notifications in summer 2015.
Inquiries
If you have questions regarding participation guidelines,
please contact the AAA Meetings and Conference
Department ([email protected]).
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| January/February 2015
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
2014 AAA Photo Contest
Andrew Russell
AAA Meetings and Conferences
AAA continued its popular photo contest in 2014 with more submissions and votes
than ever before.
This year we experimented with new technology, including using Facebook to vote
as a means of opening up the voting pool to non-members. For the most part it was
a grand success! While all the photographs submitted were striking and thought-
provoking, below are the highest “liked” photos for the three categories: people, place
and practice.
Photographs from the entire submission pool were selected by staff and our printer
for the 2015 annual calendar, which was distributed at the annual meeting. The
calendar is also available upon email request.
Do you have good photos to submit to the next photo contest? While next year’s
calendar contest timeline has not yet been established, we can continue to accept
entrants through [email protected]
A Call to End Gun Violence in South Bronx
Photographer: Ashley Marinaccio
Girl Be Heard Company member Karen Vigo participating in
street performance with Girl Be Heard to end gun violence in NYC
communities.
A Day’s Work
Photographer: Anna Rushton
In this remote village, landless families struggle to find day jobs
and often turn to traditional pottery making in order to make a
few francs. Historically favoring immediate returns on labor, Batwa
have continued pottery making for generations. The time and labor
that goes into getting clay, making the pots, and firing them is rarely
worth the amount of money they will get from the pot, but this practice is continued anyway.
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KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
January/February 2015 |
Afghan Men Pulling Heavy Load
Photographer: Damon Lynch
Afghan men pulling heavy load. Photo taken on March 29, 2014 in Afghan Bazaar,
Ishkashim, Badakhshan, Afghanistan.
By the End of a Day
Photographer: Ming Xue
A shop owner was sitting in front of his fish tanks. He moved over 800 miles from
his home town in Sichuan to Xining to make a living. More and more people are
moving to this plateau city from other big cities in China due to the lower living
cost and the slower pace of life in Xining, although it means they have to get used
to the plateau and to cope with the cold weather for more than half of the year.
Cooking Vessels Drying in the Village of Chijipata Alta, Bolivia
Photographer: Andrew Roddick
The specialized potting village of Chijipata Alta has been producing cooking
vessels for many generations. These hand constructed pots are produced by more
than half of the 30 families living in the village and are distributed throughout
Bolivia and Peru through both markets and personal trade relationships.
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| January/February 2015
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
Cosmologies of Capture
Photographer: Lys Alcayna-Stevens
Young boys (and sometimes girls) begin
hunting and trapping in the forest
with their older siblings from a young
age. In order to capture animals, they
must have a keen knowledge of those
animals’ relations of kinship and predation, as well as their behavior and habits.
In this photograph, three young boys
proudly display a sunbird (Cyanomitra
sp) which they have lured into a trap
with her favorite flower.
Interior of an Ifugao Rice Granary
Photographer: Glenn Stone
Interior of an Ifugao alang (rice
granary), showing bundles of seed rice
and bulul rice gods.
22
www.anthropology-news.org
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
January/February 2015 |
Morning Sun on Rice Terraces
Photographer: Glenn Davis Stone
Morning sun on rice terraces, Ifugao Province, the
Philippines.
Nothing Going On
Photographers: Jesse Colin, Lindsay Jackson and A Bell
The circumpolar world is often depicted as distant, empty,
and isolated, disconnected from powerful economic or
cultural centers further south. Life north of the 60th parallel
is assumed to be rural, slow paced and non-modern. The
region’s disparities in health and wealth are often attributed to there being “nothing going on.” Using a composite
of stills gathered in thirty seconds at the main intersection
of the peri-urban town of Hay River, Northwest Territories,
the image “Nothing Going On” reveals a circumpolar city
in motion and gestures to the particularities of attempts at
northern modernization.
www.anthropology-news.org
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| January/February 2015
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
The Bride’s Butterflies
Photographer: Viktoria Ivanova
Delicately grasping her bouquet of peach roses,
the young bride awaits her husband-to-be in her
childhood bedroom; meanwhile he energetically
negotiates with her mother at the front door to
be let into the apartment. By Bulgarian tradition
the mother-in-law urges the groom to first fill one
of the wedding shoes with all the money he has
before entering and taking her daughter away to
the church to get married.
Preparing for World Cup
Photographer: Gregory Goodrich
Havana, Cuba. June 2014
24
www.anthropology-news.org
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
January/February 2015 |
Batwa Children
Photographer: Anna Rushton
I met these children in a small village
reachable only by footpath in the hills
above Lake Kivu in Rwanda’s Western
Province. The Batwa, numbering less that
1% of the population, are widely accepted
as the indigenous minority in Rwanda,
although post-genocide policies have criminalized ethnic identification as inciting
divisionism. Historically marginalized
and currently among the poorest groups
in Rwanda, the Batwa have struggled to
make the transition from forest to village
life. Many children in this village refused
to go to school because of the discrimination they faced by their classmates and
teachers for being poor, for being dirty, and
for being Batwa.
Blok T, Nuuk, Greenland
Photographer: Hunter Snyder
www.anthropology-news.org
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| January/February 2015
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
GHOST ANTHROPOLOGIES
Twitter on the Plaza
The Spatial Practice of Online Social Networks
Samuel Gerald Collins
Towson U
the community cluster type features different groups
forming around common topics (Smith et al 2014).
These typologies are extremely useful in characterizing Twitter’s discursive space. But what if we expand
those insights into physical space? Could we see similar
parallels between communications in social networks
and spatial practice? What would we look for?
What are the relationships between the city and the
social media used in the city? I assume that social media
have had an impact on the ways we relate to the city.
This, after all, was one the goals in utilizing Twitter in
#Occupy protests—to organize people in space. During
those protests, social media helped evoke alternatives to
hegemonic spaces structured by capital flows. On the
other hand, I also assume that social media is shaped by
historic and contemporary urban practice—by flanerie,
by different systems of mobility, by contemporaneous
technologies such as books, newspapers, earphones, and
by the history of media in the city.
But how do we understand this give and take? Many
of the analyses of Twitter in the city have been variations on Big Data: that is, work has tended to answer
questions about large-scale movements of ideas and
discourse. In the process, many of the small questions
about place and meaning have not been as interesting
to Big Data scientists. But here’s one area where anthropology has some real advantages. We may (at least for the
moment) be able to download thousands of tweets—a
global population. But, ultimately, these micro-communications are local: the thoughts of people embedded in
place (not withstanding robots and zombies).
Korea (where I’m on a Fulbright grant for the 2014–15
year), offers me an opportunity to explore these ideas.
Not only are smartphone penetration levels higher in
Korea than in the US (70%­­–66% in the US), but, more
importantly, the practice of smartphones is different.
Koreans are more likely to use their smartphones on the
go, with Koreans showing significantly higher mobile
internet usage when on the go (eg, taking the subway)
or in third spaces (cafes, restaurants, etc) (“Our Mobile
Planet”). Accordingly, Koreans are more likely to update
their Twitter accounts while they’re moving around
(“Our Mobile Planet”).
Over the past ten years, downtown Seoul has been
transformed in many ways—new parks, the restoration
of Gwanghwamun, the opening of major thoroughfares to pedestrian traffic—all alongside a ruinous bout
of “re-development” (재개발) that has led to widespread
gentrification. And, interestingly, the construction and/
or transformation of public plazas. Since its completion in 2008, Gwanghwamun Plaza (광화문 광장) has
provided highly effective visibility for social movements.
On the other hand, the plaza has also figured into city
and national-efforts at branding and commodification
through the creation of spectacle; indeed, there is rarely
a day when there are not multiple events and attractions.
Nothing typifies this tension between different
spatial practice along the plaza more than the ongoing
protests by the grieving families of the children lost to
the Sewol ferry accident (세월 유가족) and their many
supporters, all of whom have been waging a lengthy
and highly visible protest in Seoul’s plazas since spring
of 2014. In addition, there have been protests from a
right-wing group as well, one whose smaller numbers
are belied by the attention given them by the conservative press. Finally, there has been a continuous series
of events and entertainments at the Plaza during the
same period—sometimes these have been consonant
with the Sewol protests, as in the August 2014 visit
from Pope Francis where he articulated his support
for the Sewol families. More often, however, the events
have been disconnected—unlikely bedfellows sharing
the same space.
Network Types
Online Spatial Practice
In a recent Pew Research Center report, Marc Smith, Lee
Rainie, Itai Himelboim and Ben Schneiderman suggest
that Twitter communications might be grouped into
predictable typologies based on the type of communication and the relationship between Twitter account
holders. For example, the Polarized Crowd features
two tight clusters with few connections between them,
the Broadcast Network has a hub and spoke structure
with people re-tweeting the broadcast message, while
Back in the Twitterverse, I used NodeXL to download
twitter data from September 11–13 (2014) using the
keyword “Gwanghwamun” (광화문). Stripped of identifying labels and grouped by connected components,
the search yielded about 700 nodes (Twitter accounts)
connected to each other by over 1000 edges.
Based on the graph (included with the online version
of this column), we can see several different events
and/or groups, all utilizing the plaza at the same time.
Seoul—City of Plazas
The clusters in the largest box are tweets regarding the
Sewol protests, with the large cluster on the left side of
the box associated with the Sewol families, and to the
right the right-wing group against any special investigation into the Sewol ferry disaster. On the right of
the graph are a series of smaller boxes, declining in
number to isolated self-tweets at the bottom. These
smaller, disconnected clusters are broadcasting events
in Gwanghwamun Square; the smallest are personal
messages (“Meet me at Gwanghwamun Square”).
What’s important here is that these different elements
reflect different kinds of spatial practice. In the Marc
Smith et al model, the first type, the broadcast network,
shows itself in a typical radial pattern—the organizers
broadcasting their event. Accordingly, people at these
events (free calligraphy, performance or concerts) came
as individual consumers (whether singly or on units
of family and friends). They lined up to consume at
different booths, and having consumed the event, went
their separate ways—the plaza practiced according to
the spectacle of tourism and consumption.
The Sewol protest shows clusters of tightly
connected Twitter accounts, linked by multiple
connections between them. This seems somewhere
between a community cluster (within the coalition
of Sewol protestors) and a polarized crowd (between
the protesters on the left and the right-wing group on
the right). Physically, the Sewol activists are likewise
divided into coalitions (for example, religious groups
supporting the Sewol families), each of which occupies separate tents along Gwanghwamun Plaza. On
the other hand, the right-wing encampment is down
the plaza and across the street—occupying one tent.
Moreover, the Sewol protest camp involves different
groups each enacting different forms of social activism
(fasting, praying, etc) towards a common goal of legislative change.
The point here is not to make any easy predictions
about what spatial practice might look like based on
Twitter networks, but to suggest that those intersections
may constitute a rich source of data for anthropological
investigation, mutually enforcing patterns of practice
across both physical and virtual spaces that may not tell
us much about big data, but may reveal something of
local practices of social media.
Samuel Gerald Collins is a professor of anthropology in
the department of sociology, anthropology and criminal
justice and director of the Cultural Studies Program at
Towson University.
Published September 22, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
Anthropology News | @news4anthros AAA | @AmericanAnthro
26
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
Contesting the Terms of Inclusion
Kichwa Midwives Challenge State Commitment to Indigenous Rights
Heather Wurtz
Columbia U
There is an increased controversy on the role of indigenous midwives in the health of communities in Ecuador.
Although they continue to be primary birth attendants
within this population, they have, in the past, been
largely excluded from the national health care system
with little recourse for organizing or professionalization. However, in accordance with recent constitutional
reform and the government’s declared commitment
to indigenous rights, the Ministry of Public Health
(MoPH) has launched a series of initiatives to incorporate indigenous midwives and other indigenous health
practitioners into government programming. But, as
many have discovered, inclusion does not come without
costs. As widespread new health initiatives sweep across
the country and are taken up and transformed in the
local sphere, midwives are finding themselves at a vital
juncture: will they accept the proposed terms of inclusion or struggle to redefine them?
For an association of Kichwa midwives (the Asocio)
in the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon,
market integration is crucial to the survival and sustainability of their work. Government resistance to this
demand has spurred critical commentary among
midwives that challenges the government’s alleged
commitment to indigenous rights and a “plurinational
society”. As midwives situate their experiences within
broader claims of cultural preservation and indigenous
rights, they expose the limitations and pitfalls of cultural
recognition without economic and political restructuring.
During the summer of 2013 I conducted exploratory
research among Asocio midwives. I completed over
twenty interviews with midwives, community women,
Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) officials, and other
key informants, and spent hours of participant-observation in diverse sites. When I first began this research,
I expected conversations to revolve around topics of
pregnancy and birth. However, over time and multiple
conversations, a much different narrative evolved: one
in which midwives made profound claims about social
justice and government accountability—contesting the
terms of their inclusion (and the faulty foundation on
which it stands) and provoking a wider discussion about
current political processes in Ecuador and their social
implications.
According to the UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, the practice and preservation
of indigenous health systems is fundamental right of
indigenous peoples. Many national constitutions in
Latin America have recognized, at least in theory, the
rights of Indigenous groups to maintain their cultural,
territorial, and linguistic integrity (Montenegro and
Stephens 2006). In 2008 the Ecuadorian government
established a new constitution based on a “radical new
paradigm” (Radcliffe 2011: 241), Sumak Kawsay, which
touted a steadfast commitment to uphold Indigenous
life-ways and knowledge. Article 363 specifically guarantees the recognition, respect and promotion of indigenous health knowledge and medicine. The MoPH
www.anthropology-news.org
also established national and local divisions for intercultural health and, in 2011, launched a series of initiatives addressing indigenous health and inequality (UN
Women 2014). However, as I found in my research
among midwives in the Asocio, the principles of Sumak
Kawsay are routinely ignored in practice. Interventions
that seem to promote inclusion and recognition may
actually serve to (re)produce the very inequalities they
were allegedly designed to overcome.
Maintaining Practice, Preserving Culture
In 2012, the Asocio and the local MoPH agreed to
combine efforts to improve health services through
intercultural collaboration. Intercultural health is the
integration of indigenous and biomedical practices. It is
based on principles of equal participation, shared decision-making, and the respect and exchange of complementary knowledge systems. Although the provision
of intercultural care initially undergirded this partnership, government efforts have been largely noncommittal and may, in fact, undermine the practice of the
Asocio midwives. Indeed, since the collaboration began,
the number of Asocio midwives and patients has rapidly
dwindled. No longer supported by NGO funds from
previous years and with no financial support from
MoPH, midwives must now charge patients for services
and herbal medicines (compared to free government
biomedical healthcare for pregnant women). As a result,
patient numbers have declined and midwives can no
longer afford to maintain their services and facilities. A
similar development was reported in the Andean town
of Pujuli (Constante 2014). After the MoPH took over
intercultural health programming (formerly managed
by an NGO) and ceased compensating midwives for
attending monthly meetings, participation dropped
from 18 midwives to four. Although the meetings had
facilitated intercultural dialogue and had been shown
to improve health outcomes, midwives could no longer
sacrifice a day’s work to attend.
Although the MoPH in the Upper Napo has provided
some training for midwives, and both midwives and
biomedical providers have reported positive and
productive working relations, the structural conditions
(no pay, no external funding) imposed on midwives
due to the subordinated status (no official certification)
have severely restricted their practice. This predicament provides little hope for preserving their cultural
heritage, let alone ensuring future growth. Financial
resources are necessary to sustain their practices, which
midwives view as a keystone of Kichwa culture. Market
integration is also imperative to attracting younger
generations to the practice of midwifery. “I want to leave
the Asocio in the hands of the youth. If not, the Kichwa
culture will not continue to exist; everything will be
lost. It will fall into the hands of the Westerners.”
Protecting Cultural Property
The demand for market integration is also a claim of
cultural property rights. Recently, heated debates have
stirred around cultural appropriation of Indigenous
art, ecology and life-ways. Indigenous health prac-
tices are not exempt. However, the appropriation of
indigenous health knowledge is often folded into a
robust national discourse that hails biomedicine as
a “metonym of modernity” (Connor 2001) and a bid
for global membership (eg, Millennium Development
Goals). In addition, the integration of indigenous practices within biomedical institutes is often lauded as a
successful intercultural intervention without interrogating or politicizing the circumstances. For example,
as a result of recent intercultural initiatives, many
medical institutes throughout Ecuador have integrated
indigenous practices like vertical birth. Vertical birth is
believed to help curb rising cesarean section rates and
has received considerable attention in Ecuador alongside the growing natural childbirth movement (humanización del parto). In one hospital, when vertical birthing
services first became available, 95% of the women
utilizing services were Indigenous. A year later, the
ratio had changed to 56% Indigenous and 44% mestizo
women (Soguel 2009). While a central tenet of intercultural health is open access to different health modalities, in many cases these practices are being carried
out under the management of biomedical health practitioners, to the exclusion of their indigenous counterparts. Midwives in theAsocio are attuned to these
trends, which they denounce as acts of cultural appropriation and exploitation. As one midwife relayed: “We
are afraid to share our ideas (with biomedical providers
and government officials)…we share what we know and
then after they have this knowledge, they don’t need us
anymore. They can continue to work because they have
their own salary, and we are left behind.”
Durable Inequalities in “No-man’s Land”
While midwives want to organize, professionalize and
advance intercultural collaboration, they face considerable obstacles due to profound, durable inequalities.
Lack of Spanish fluency impedes authentic dialogue
with MoPH officials; illiteracy challenges implementation of new interventions, like documenting patient
information; poverty limits their ability to attend meetings and workshops. Caught between a lack of government support, on one hand, and poverty and debilitating
inequalities on the other, midwives are suspended in an
ambiguous social and legal space—what Povinelli once
described as a “bracketing of the other in a no-man’s land
of having been neither recognized nor denied recognition” (2011). Intercultural health programs are most
significantly hindered by the inequalities they fail to
address. If these programs are designed to “’resolve’ the
problem of indigenous people” through interventions
aimed for a “target population” (UN 2009)— rather than
full participation of indigenous peoples—the (supposed)
political and cultural projects undergirding these initiatives remain sorely out of reach.
Writing on state health policy among Inuit populations, Lisa Stevenson (2012) warns against the privileging of biological life over social and culturally
proscribed forms of life embedded in local systems
of kinship, care, and meaning. Well-intentioned or
not, programs and interventions are insufficient (even
destructive) when they are circumscribed within dominant biopolitical or biomedical frameworks. In contemporary society, life (and death) are increasingly understood, managed, and experienced though a schema of
See
Inclusion on page 28
27
| January/February 2015
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
THE WORLD IS CURVED
The Guns of August, Again
Michael E Harkin
U Wyoming
I have been thinking about World War One this
summer. Of course, the centennial of the start of
the Great War has produced many thought pieces in
the higher-brow press, and one magisterial book, The
Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark, which I have been
forging through. Still fresh in my mind is a Fulbright
stint at Graz, in Austria, a beautiful old Hapsburg
provincial capital, and travel through the Balkans, so I
have a visual reservoir that I did not possess the last time
I went on a Great War binge (The Proud Tower and The
Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman; the Regeneration
Trilogy by Pat Barker). Finally, I was invited to participate in a panel at this year’s AAA meeting on the impact
of the war on American anthropology. Private and
professional parts of my life converged on a contemplation of the Great War.
It is a cliché but nevertheless true that the Great War
snuffed out the long nineteenth century and ushered in
the modern era. It opened the door to many national
independence movements and the breakup of old
empires; it produced the Russian Revolution and eliminated many of Europe’s monarchs. At the same time,
in the US especially, that war has long been eclipsed
by the Second World War. This summer saw as well
the commemoration of D-Day; only that was attended
by world leaders. It is natural that they could be drawn
to lovely Normandy to commemorate the decisive
moment in the end game of the second, good war, and
not to the side streets of Sarajevo, a city bearing scars
of more recent sorrows that attest to the ambiguous
outcome of the first.
To the generation born in the shadow of the Second
World War, the first had the quality of rumor or fairy
tale rather than memory. The second was historically
legible in the way that the first, with its Czars, Kaisers,
and Pashas, never could be. In my family, I had uncles
who had fought in World War Two; although reticent
about their experience, their exploits and medals were
a part of family lore. And, of course, Hollywood and
Inclusion
continued from page 27
biomedicine and technology. This often obscures other
dimensions of health and wellbeing, precludes alternative social realities and interpretive frameworks, and
denies experiences embedded within specific histories
and cultural systems. Stevenson calls for a new vision
that fosters alternative frameworks and does not privilege an abstract notion of life removed from context
and kinship. This requires not only restructuring public
health tools and programs, but also rethinking the logic
on which they are based. Otherwise, age-old patterns of
exclusion, neglect, and material deprivation may simply
28
the British film industry spent much of the succeeding
decades refighting this war. These dramatic, violent (but
rarely explicitly gory) spectacles were for us what westerns were for an earlier generation of children: examples
of heroism and the triumph of good over evil, intended
as models to be followed.
The good war. The greatest generation. These phrasings simplify and valorize a complex and largely tragic
experience. Certainly the evil embodied by the Nazis
and the military aggression of both Germany and
Japan were not only a casus belli but allowed us to
imagine ourselves locked in a Manichean battle with
a mythic foe. Especially in retrospect, with the full
horror of the death camps revealed, it was easy to see
both ourselves and our enemies as occupying unambiguous poles on the moral scale. If they were purely
evil, then we must be purely good. The minor keys in
this hymn—the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo,
the use of nuclear weapons—were mostly suppressed, at
least until the Vietnam War created a market for satirical antiwar books by writers such as Joseph Heller and
Kurt Vonnegut.
The template of the good war proved powerful indeed.
It allowed for the collection of the three great US wars
under this singular umbrella: the Revolution, the Civil
War, and World War II. All were seen as wars of national
sacrifice that resulted in the expansion of human freedom
and the redressing of injustice, part of a national narrative
that was patently Christological in nature. The United
States, or America as proponents would have it, had sacrificed itself, or some part of itself, so that others, including
future Americans, would be free.
This is not the place to engage in a discussion of the
merits of these wars. Certainly, freeing the slaves, like
freeing the survivors of the death camps, was unambiguously a good thing. However, drawing this lesson
from this limited set of wars gives us an unrealistic view
of war’s broader effects. We need to recognize that war
much more often resembles the Great War than it does
this idealized version of the Civil War or the Second
World War. What is more, the mythology of the good
war led directly to wars that resembled the Great War
be reproduced in new ways under a slippery guise of
progressivism and the promotion of rights.
Through critical discourse, Asocio midwives have
challenged the state’s constitutional commitment to
pluri-nationalism and social rights, and have complicated concepts of formal citizenship and other assumptions that underwrite the national development agenda.
By examining midwives’ narratives and their everyday
experiences in navigating new political ground, we see
how health becomes the terrain on which battles for
citizenship and recognition are waged in a context of
rapid political, economic, and social transformation.
We learn how midwives both engage and contest dominant sociopolitical paradigms in efforts to achieve social
belonging and market integration. We confront, too, the
in nature if not scale. Blinded by the popular understanding of good wars, the United States involved itself
in wars of choice (decidedly bad choice) in Vietnam,
Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the Cold War was viewed
through the naïve lens of the good war, to the point that
the US consistently lacked any realistic understanding
of the Soviets, including their abrupt collapse in 1989.
The foolish wars started by George W Bush have
their roots in the Great War and have led directly
to the headlines I read today, about Isis massacring
Christian and Yazidi civilians, and forcing survivors
to flee into the mountains. For this is the logic made
manifest by the Great War: violent fission into smaller,
mutually intolerant groups. The Ottoman and AustroHungarian empires, though inefficient and imperfect, and defined by an official religion (Sunni Islam,
Catholicism), nevertheless tolerated and protected religious and ethnic minorities. Being a Jew in the Ottoman
Empire was, on the whole, far preferable to being a
Jew in Russia or Western Europe. By the same token,
Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish populations received
similar treatment under the Hapsburgs. Things were
not perfect, of course: part of the enmity maintained by
the Serbs for the Austrians (and Croats) was their own
perceived second-class status as Orthodox Christians.
Nevertheless, both empires embraced and even celebrated, in the case of the Austrians, ethnic and religious diversity. Both were cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic
entities occupying contiguous territory, ruling with
some degree of legitimacy, possessing quasi-democratic
institutions, the rule of law, and institutions of higher
learning. Isis and other radical Sunni groups would
expel or murder every non-Sunni and would raze every
library and school that it could. This is the tragic legacy
of the Great War, one to which the West itself, with the
rise of nativist, reactionary political movements in the
US, the UK, France, and elsewhere is also subject.
Michael E Harkin is a cultural anthropologist and
ethnohistorian at the University of Wyoming. He is editor
of the journal Reviews in Anthropology.
Published September 3, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
structural barriers that impede innovative, intercultural
programs. In the process, fresh questions arise about the
legitimacy and effectiveness of progressive, post-colonial initiatives and the new forms of precarity and injustice that may surface in their wake.
Heather Wurtz is a doctoral student in the department
of sociomedical sciences/anthropology at Columbia U
and a fellow in the NIH-funded gender, sexuality and
health training program.
Published October 7, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Thinking with Kuru
Barbara Andersen
New York U
I was sitting with a group of Papua New Guinean
nursing students in the Open Bible Mission compound
in Ivingoi, Eastern Highlands Province, when Gina, a
second year nursing student, approached us holding up
a book. It was the commemorative program for the “End
of Kuru” conference that had been hosted by the Royal
Society, London in 2007. One of the men living inside
the mission compound, a member of the Fore cultural
group who had formerly worked as a kuru surveillance
fieldworker, had shared the book with Gina. He and
several other older men from the region were depicted
on the book’s cover standing at the Royal Society’s
London headquarters. “Do you know about this sik
kuru?” Gina asked us.
I had encountered stories about the neurodegenerative disease countless times since taking my first
medical anthropology course as an undergraduate in
the late 1990s. To my surprise, however, none of the
other students or teachers of this program had ever
heard of kuru. The Fore people had been immortalized in anthropology, medicine and popular culture as
the victims of kuru, a prion disease spread through the
ingestion of human remains during mourning rituals,
that killed thousands—mostly women and children—
from approximately 1900 until the last death in 2005.
(For histories of the epidemic and of the scientific and
anthropological research that unlocked the mystery of
its origins, see Kuru Sorceryby Shirley Lindenbaum and
The Collectors of Lost Souls by Warwick Anderson).
I eventually learned that while some in the Fore
community remembered kuru, nurses in PNG were
structurally excluded from the circulations of elite
knowledge that had made kuru into an internationally valued biomedical object. This made sense considering that the last known sufferer of the illness had
died in 2005, and nurses were never expected to come
into contact with kuru patients. The very qualities that
made kuru valuable to medical researchers—its resemblance to other prion-caused diseases, its unusual mode
of transmission, and the fact that it existed nowhere
else in the world—made it worthless from a public
health standpoint. While this group of students initially
expressed shock and terror upon learning of kuru (some
students had even been worried that the Fore might still
consume the dead), they deployed this new knowledge
to critique gender inequality in their own ranks.
A student I’ll call Dorcas asserted that kuru was proof
that “traditional culture” granted privileges to men at the
expense of women’s health. Reflecting on the gendered
distribution of human parts in Fore mourning rites, she
mused, “Think about it, the men took the good parts
of the meat, and the women ate the leftover garbage.
We are still like that, because women want to give the
tastiest food to the men. And that’s why we women
get so many different kinds of diseases.” She had been
thinking about the work nurses performed as prenatal
care providers, encouraging pregnant and lactating
www.anthropology-news.org
Three nursing students take a break from their rural health practicum at the Ivingoi Open Bible Mission Health
Sub-center, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo courtesy Barbara Andersen
women to eat protein and greens despite knowing that
women would often reserve the best food for their male
relatives. She was also thinking about the fighting over
food provisions that continually arose between male
and female students on rural trips.
While relationships between male and female
students in the nursing program were mostly supportive
and caring, with student “brothers” protecting their
“sisters” from the dangers of urban life and “sisters” reciprocating with small gifts of food, money, and respect,
these relationships could become strained during rural
practicums. In village settings, female students often
complied with traditional taboos such as not cooking or
handling men’s food during menstruation, even though
students were taught that menstrual taboos were bilip
nating (only beliefs) and that menstruating women
could not actually harm men’s health. Only a small
contingent of the male students—those from Enga and
Southern Highlands Provinces—were believed to be
concerned about menstrual pollution. However, even
those who did not necessarily believe they were in physical danger might interpret a lack of attention to these
taboos as disrespect. Female students couldn’t help but
feel that their male classmates were being disingenuous:
these same young men were learning to deliver babies,
perform vaginal exams, and counsel female patients on
birth control. Why were they making such a fuss about
pollution when dealing with the girls they lived and
worked with? Women identified this use of “custom” as
an ideological cover for male privilege. Dorcas made an
explicit analogy between Fore men in the time of kuru
and Papua New Guinean men in the present day: like
their male classmates, who tried to control food preparation and distribution through claims to respect, Fore
men had organized a dietary regime that did harm to
women’s bodies by limiting their access to non-human
meat. Learning about the epidemiology of kuru gave
these students a new interpretive resource with which
to discuss gender inequality.
The topics that anthropologists find compelling are
not always relevant to the people we work with. Yet relevance is itself always a work-in-progress: while nursing
students in PNG don’t need to know about kuru in
order to do their jobs, once they learned about it they
used it to think through their own concerns. Kuru
allowed women students to draw connections between
the biomedical knowledge they acquired in nursing
college and the gendered dilemmas they faced in their
daily lives.
To submit contributions to this column please
contact SMA Contributing Editor Megan A Carney
([email protected]).
Published October 2, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
29
| January/February 2015
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
SOC IET Y FOR L ATIN AM E RIC AN AND C ARIBBE AN ANTH RO POLOGY
For the Love of Dogs
Approaching Animal-Human Interactions in Mexico
Iván Sandoval-Cervantes
U Oregon
to explore the co-construction of colonialism and
speciesism, and how ideas about non-human animals
inform our conceptions of local, regional, and national
In Amores Perros, perhaps the most famous Mexican
identities. For example, León García Garagarza analyzes
film in recent history, a young man from a marginalhow the arrival of cattle from Spain influenced indigeized neighborhood in Mexico City earns a living by
nous social movements and diets in sixteenth century
fighting the dog that he claims to love, a wealthy couple
Mexico, while María Elena García discusses how the
in a middle-class neighborhood treats their dog as a
gastronomic revolution of Peru has affected both indigsmall child, and a homeless man travels the city with
enous and non-human bodies.
several street dogs that keep him company. Although
In Mexico, such overlapping oppressions and
dogs are not exactly the protagonists of Amores Perros,
violence appear on a quotidian basis in the streets and
they provide a glimpse into the complex and, often,
in the newspapers. As a Mexican national who also
contradictory relationships between people and dogs
does fieldwork in Mexico, I can attest to the contradicin Mexico.
tory discourses and practices that surround human and
The history of dogs in Mexico is a complex one
non-human animals. As an anthropologist I wonder
that hints at the ways in which colonialism and capiunder what circumstances such discourses and practalism affect human/non-human relationships. The
tices originate, and how they both protect and harm
native Mexican hairless dog, called xoloitzcuintle in
humans and non-humans. As an academic interested
Nahuatl, was revered and sacrificed. During the wars
in social justice, I have also wondered how social and
of conquest led by Hernán Cortés, dogs of European
economic oppression suffered by humans affects nonbreeds were used to attack indigenous peoples in
human animals, and how such overlaps are explained
central Mexico. In a way, this ambiguous relationship
(by some) using classist, sexualized and racialized
has persisted: dogs are loved and feared, adored and
language.
despised. But what does this tell us about the social
It is often the case, but not always, that when I talk
and economic conditions that shape human and nonabout non-human animal rights in Mexico, people will
human animal relations?
tell me that we must first deal with the human probDuring the last few years anthropologists and other
lems, and that perhaps once all of the human problems
social scientists have looked at the intricate relationare resolved we can start thinking about non-human
ships between human and non-human animals. The
animals. Furthermore, non-human animal rights are
most prominent examples in the realm of animal
sometimes referred to as a first world problem. While
studies and the anthropology of human/non-human
there might be some truth to that assertion, neveranimals are those of Donna Haraway, Colin Dayan
theless the first anthropological question should be:
and Eduardo Kohn who, among others, have provided
Why? A second anthropological question should be:
compelling arguments for why problematizing our
How can we think about intersectionality through
ideas about non-human animals can help us better
the ways in which people treat, talk, and think about
understand our place as humans. In the same vein,
non-human animals in specific cultural settings in
social scientists working in Latin America have sought
Mexico (and in the rest of Latin America)? If the
ways in which people
treat, talk, and think
about humans occur
in historical and political contexts, certainly
the same could apply
to non-human animals.
Let me give two brief
examples illustrating
these
overlapping
contexts.
In recent weeks the
news that the Mexican
Partido Verde (or Green
Party) has been pushing
to rid Mexican circuses
of animals has been
circulating in several
media. The argument
that the PV is making
Of 18 million dogs in Mexico, only 30% have owners. Photo courtesy Iván
Sandoval-Cervantes
is a simple one: animals
30
in circuses are mistreated and exploited, thus the practice should be stopped. But, coming from a Green Party
that has also supported the death penalty in Mexico, it
is not hard to see that non-human animals are being
used for political reasons. This contradiction has led
some to ask why the PV is not also going after bullfighting. The answer has come in the language of class,
since bullfighting (unlike cockfights and dogfights) is a
lucrative enterprise enjoyed by middle and upper class
Mexicans.
On the question of dogs, according to the Mexican
National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI),
there are 18 million in Mexico and only 30% have
owners. These 12.6 million “street” dogs are hard
to ignore in Mexico. Although you can find them
almost anywhere, they are concentrated in economically marginalized spaces—notably rural towns and
in poor urban neighborhoods. There are many ways
in which anthropologists have and could look at the
social phenomenon of street dogs. We might analyze
concepts of ownership in places where dogs are neither
stray nor pets and where they occupy a liminal space.
We could also analyze the ways in which language is
used to describe both the street dogs and the people
with whom they share a space; for example, even the
term callejero/a (as in perro callejero or street dog)
can be interpreted as having classist, racial and sexual
implications.
As in the movie Amores Perros, non-human animals
are often tied to the humans with whom they willingly or unwillingly share a space. Such ties are created
in social and political contexts. The dog and the
young man that participate in (illegal) dogfights do
not share the same fate as the family that raises
bulls for (legal) bullfighting. The lives of human and
non-human animals overlap in the public political
discourses and in quotidian spaces. For anthropologists
in Latin America, these overlaps promise to be an interesting area of study that could tell us more about the
intersections between the histories of human and nonhuman animals, as León García Garagarza and María
Elena García, among others, have done.
Iván Sandoval-Cervantes is a PhD candidate in the
department of anthropology at the University of Oregon.
His dissertation project focuses on the changing histories
of gender roles, and kinship and care practices, and how
these histories link internal and transnational migration
in an indigenous community in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Please send any comments, suggestions, and ideas for
future columns to SLACA AN Contributing Editor
Ronda Brulotte at [email protected]
Published September 26, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
COU NC IL ON ANTH RO POLOGY AND EDUC ATION
Increasing English Education in Japan
An Identity Crisis?
Tyler Barrett
U Calgary
In a recent article in The Japan Times entitled “English
Education set to get serious in Japan,” Kodera and
Komeda (2013) discuss the Ministry of Education
Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s plan to
reform English education. According to the plan, by
2020 High School and Junior High School English
courses will be taught exclusively in English (in contrast
to the current grammar-translation approach) and
formal English instruction will begin in the fifth grade.
Historically, English language education in Japan
developed as a result of Western imperial dominance
and expansion, and the demands of (American-driven)
globalization. Interestingly, the current demands of
globalization in Japan are set in the midst of Japanese
discourses that have formed and informed Japanese
identity construction processes for generations. As a
result, while understanding the reciprocity between
language and identity, which is that beliefs inform
language, and language concepts inform cognitive concepts of self, the increased implementation of
English education begs the question, in terms of identity,
at what expense is English being taught in Japan? I will
begin by discussing popular and historical discourses
of Japan that form and inform beliefs about identity,
followed by a brief discussion about theoretical possibilities of identity construction concerning the potential
impact of English education in Japan.
Kokusaika
Kokusaika is a historical discourse that promotes homogenous views of Japan even while Japanese individuals are
becoming increasingly transcultural (Pennycook 2007)
as a result of a globalizing world. It began as a discourse
in government policy, which was aimed at promoting
a Japan that could defend itself against foreign pressures and essentially control its own fate (Burgess 2012).
Kubota (2002, 16) suggests that Kokusaika is aimed at
understanding people and cultures in international
communities through social, cultural, and educational
opportunities. However, contrary to the implications of
globalization discourse, Kokusaika promotes Japanese
tradition, culture, and identity (Kubota 2002, 28). As
stated in the article, Kodera and Komeda (2013), expect
outcomes to include students being able to understand
and exchange information and to debate and present in
English. These outcome expectations suggest degrees of
being bilingual, which is a complex identity concept that
is not homogenously Japanese.
Nihonjinron
Nihonjinron is another historical discourse that promotes
homogenous views of Japanese identity, which began in
the Meiji Restoration period (1868) when discussions
about Japanese identity emphasized the importance of
contrasting Japan with the West (Pyle 1969 in Burgess
www.anthropology-news.org
2012). Interestingly, the discourse ofNihonjinron suggests
that the Japanese are a homogeneous people of a unified
nation (tan’itsu minzoku kokka) (Mouer and Sugimoto
1986, 406). In recent times,Nihonjinron ideologies are
being tested, and will continue to be as waves of immigrants continue to settle in Japan (Burgess 2012), and as
English is embraced more than other foreign languages.
For example, according a recent article, nearly three
quarters of Japanese companies require TOEIC (Test of
English for International Communication) scores as a
of Japanese identity is perceived as being threatened as
a result of unwelcomed collisions with transcultural
flows (Pennycook 2007). On the other hand, a positive view of English education is possible when understanding language in terms of language as ecology and
hybridity, which is possible when we accept (1) the
natural progression of language and the individual in
terms of shift and loss (Ricento 2006) and (2) the reality
that communities in Japan are not necessarily pure to
begin with; rather they are potentially constructed/
determined by complex memberships of multilingual/multicultural individuals. Multilingual/
multicultural identity complexities are demonstrated by the more
than two-million immigrants
living in Japan as of 2010 who are
often spouses of Japanese citizens
and parents of hāfu(mixed-race)
kids. According to the Ministry
of Justice (2012), more than half
of the immigrants living in Japan
are from China and Korea, and
only about four percent are from
English dominant countries that
include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada
and Australia. Based upon these statistics, it seems that
Japan’s English education policy is a response to the
English dominant demands of globalization and not a
response to the potential language needs of the majority
immigrant populations.
Choosing identity on these terms in the midst of
homogenous ideologies and multicultural/multilingual
realities may result in intended/unintended memberships to English diaspora existing in or away from Japan.
It is the idea that memberships to language communities allow individuals to transcend physical communities
and achieve membership on meta-physical levels and in
cognitive spaces. Such language-shift practices tend to be
typical in and among transcultural diaspora and multilingual communities around the world, even in Japan
(Pennycook, 2007, p 122; Sarkar and Allen, 2007).
Memberships to language communities
allow individuals to transcend physical
communities and achieve membership on
meta-physical levels and in cognitive spaces.
prerequisite for employment (Ronald 2013). As a result,
English language learning in Japan may be, for the most
part, learning English as lingua franca ie, English as a
tool for communication with English speakers.
Identity
The potential of growing immigrant populations and
the implementation of increased English education
policy in Japan suggest that homogenous views about
Japan may be changing. Change on these terms may
include positive and negative views about identity
construction.
Negative views may be described in terms of “governmentality” or “trans-governmentality” (Foucault 1991)
where the “death of the subject” can potentially occur as
a result of an imposing English education policy leading
to hybrid identities as a result of acquiring English. The
epitome of hybrid identity ideologies in Japan is perhaps
the language and identity experiences of hāfu(mixedrace) kids born and raised in Japan, who are seen as not
being wholly Japanese, even though they may speak
Japanese as a first language, have a Japanese parent, a
Japanese passport, and may have never lived anywhere
else outside of Japan.
Perhaps identities can be simply a choice or a preference. Perhaps identities are “points of temporary attachment” that a subject makes with discursive constructs,
which is to say, the subject can potentially choose
(within certain parameters) to subscribe to positions
and views about self, either completely, partially, or not
at all (Hall 1996, pp 6-14).
On one hand, some may perceive English education in
terms of power and violence, where the “Japaneseness”
Tyler Barrett is a PhD candidate in the faculty of
education at the University of Calgary. His doctoral
research focuses on understanding the language and
cultural practices of Japanese ethnic church communities
in Canada.
Melissa Fellin is the contributing editor for the CAE
section of Anthropology News. Submissions to the
column can be made to [email protected] or
[email protected]
Published October 10, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
31
| January/February 2015
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
MA XIMIZING SUCC ESS FOR U NDE RGR ADUATE ANTH RO POLOGY MA JORS
Dealing with Reality
Sexual Harassment in the Field
Beatriz Reyes-Foster
U Central Florida
Ty Matejowsky
U Central Florida
Unlike our previous contributions, the topic presented
below cannot be approached lightheartedly. Harassment
and assault are serious matters for all college students.
For anthropology majors, they can assume particular
dimension, especially when they happen in overseas
field settings. A recent survey of some 666 male and
female anthropologists, sociologists and other scientists engaged in field research, revealed that 64% of
female scientists had experienced sexual harassment
while in the field. 22% had experienced sexual assault.
Most of those who experienced harassment or assaults
in this way were either still students or post-doctorates. Tellingly, the majority of affected women were not
harassed or assaulted by their student peers or local residents. Rather, they were victimized by the person who
was supposed to look out for their interests; namely,
their professor. The United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment
as unwelcome sexual advances and offensive remarks
about a person’s sex. While legal definitions of sexual
assault vary across the United States, the term refers to
any unwanted sexual contact up to and including rape.
If you have experienced sexual harassment or violence
please know that such actions are completely unacceptable. Reach out for help. Do not let it go unreported.
If you are on campus, most universities have victim’s
services offices or student ombudsmen. These entities
are mandated with protecting victims and looking out
for their interests. Many schools also provide free legal
representation.
Field schools are great opportunities to advance your
career. However, they also often mean travelling and
living in remote foreign locations where students effectively rely on their professors for essentials such as meals
and lodging. They can sometimes be isolating experiences where students feel particularly vulnerable. If you
find yourself in such a situation, it is essential that you
keep yourself safe.
1)Take your campus victim’s services email
with you. These days, even the most remote field
location has some form of Internet access. If you
experience sexual assault from your professor or
anyone else, you definitely should contact your
university’s victim’s services via email. They can
advise you about what to do next.
32
2)Reach out to other faculty. In most archaeological or anthropological field schools there are often
multiple faculty members present. Reach out to one
who is not involved in the harassment or making
you feel uncomfortable. If you feel insecure about
reporting what happened, you can say something
along the lines of “I don’t want to go into detail here,
but I need to speak to you about something that
happened as soon as possible.” Talking to faculty
about their colleague’s misconduct is not easy, but
it is sometimes imperative to do so. Consult with
victim’s services about ways to approach uninvolved faculty. Have a buddy go along with you for
both support and to witness to the conversation.
3)Find a field buddy. One of the best ways to
protect yourself against harassment or assault is
having someone to watch your back. Predators
often go after those who are alone. A precautionary measure to such vulnerability is to avoid
being alone whenever possible. Even if you do not
know anyone at your new field school, chances are
you will click with someone. Once you do, you can
make it clear why you want to buddy up. If you have
each other’s back, you can help keep each other safe.
4)K now the nearest American consulate’s
location. As a precaution, it is not only important
to have a sense of how to get there but also how
to contact consulate staff. American consulate
personnel can assist you in communicating with
family, finding places to stay, and getting home.
They can also provide legal guidance.
5)Do some research before enrolling. What
is the field school’s reputation? Is heavy drinking
or partying anecdotally a part of the experience?
Are women in positions of power? If you can find
female scientists who have attended the program,
have a conversation with them about their experiences. One red flag is whether there seems to
be quick turnover among the female researchers,
while the same group of male researchers appears
constant.
6)If you see something, say something. Although
this advice goes to anyone, it is particularly directed
towards males as, regrettably, they are typically the
harassers. Rather than unfairly placing the onus
of preventing or dealing with harassment/assault
on (potential) victims, no field participant should
take on a bystander role. If something is amiss or
if harassment is occurring, make sure she knows
she is not alone and offer her assistance in any way
possible.
7)Make a concerted effort to make sure your
field site is a safe space. This particular piece
of advice is directed at those with the power:
the professors in charge of running field sites.
Harassment does not always come in the form of
unwanted advances. More often, it begins with
subtle comments and behavior which is demeaning
to women (like questioning their ability to do math,
operate heavy machinery, deal with the discomforts of the field, being hormonal). It can be perpetuated by creating a hostile environment that does
not dissuade excessive partying or the objectification women. These are all forms of harassment
so subtle that they can leave vulnerable female
students doubting themselves, wondering if they
ought to be offended or if they are being too touchy.
A good field director is sensitive to such concerns.
S/he takes steps to create an inclusive environment
while in the field.
8)Watch the alcohol. Yes, drinking is a huge
part of the field experience and field culture in
general. Many anthropologists, especially those
doing team-based field research (biological and
archaeological anthropologists) fondly remember
days of hard labor followed by nights of drinking
and partying. Everyone involved, however, needs
to recognize that drinking inevitably exacerbates
poor behavior and creates uncomfortable and
potentially dangerous situations for students.
Beatriz Reyes-Foster is assistant professor of anthropology
at the U Central Florida (UCF). Her current research
interests focus on issues surrounding reproduction in
Central Florida, particularly on the ways in which
women seeking vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
make decisions about their medical care, and peer breast
milk sharing.
Ty Matejowsky is an associate professor who specializes
in cultural anthropology. He received his PhD in 2001
from Texas A&`M U. His research interests include fast
food, economic anthropology, globalization, urbanization,
culture change and development, disaster studies. Ty
currently conducts his research in Southeast Asia,
particularly the Philippines.
Published September 8, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
A SSOC IATION FOR AFRIC ANIST ANTH RO POLOGY
Lessons from Directing a Study Abroad Program
in Tanzania
From Siangiki to Yeyio
Laura DeLuca
Naropa U
As a doctoral candidate studying livelihoods in
Ngorongoro from 2000–01, Maasai colleagues greeted
me “Siangiki, takwenya,” which means “greetings young
woman.” Ten years later when I returned to teach a
summer study abroad program my name has changed.
Sometimes I am “MamaCharlie” in the tradition of
being named after the first-born. I am also called “yeyio,”
or middle-aged woman. At first I reacted with disbelief
when guide Ole Narisio greeted me “Koko, takwenya.”
This literally means, “Grandmother I greet you.”
Returning to Tanzania made me reflect on my own
ageing and also how this process prepared me for
taking students annually to Tanzania. With each trip,
I am reminded of a challenge presented to me in 2001
by Rahab Kenana, a Maasai woman then working for
Oxfam. She asked, “If research contributes to northern
Tanzania, then why isn’t this region richer given all the
researchers here?” Her question challenges me more
than a decade later. Bringing back students whose fees
help support communities and locally-owned hotels
feels like a small way to contribute.
For the past three years, I have brought 11-13
undergraduates each summer from the University of
Colorado-Boulder (CU) to Arusha, Simanjiro, Nou
Forest, Yaeda Valley and Ngorongoro. They study
conservation and globalization and visit Maasai, Iraqw,
and Hadzabe communities as part of a three-credit
course called the Global Seminar Tanzania (GSTZ). We
work with Dorobo Safaris, a company praised by the
Lonely Planet for their commitment to sustaining wildlife and communities.
GSTZ examines the ecological and political issues
associated with the Western-inspired national park
model. Using the lens of political ecology, we discuss
conservation, globalization, and development as they
relate to indigenous communities on the margins of
protected areas in Tanzania. Students give presentations
around the campfire or even perched in the branch of a
baobab tree as Stephanie Borcea did when she discussed
Martha Honey’s article “Whose Eden is it?”
In GSTZ students learn through immersion. For
example they read about Maasai management practices in Igoe’s Conservation and Globalization and then
students travel to Silalo swamp in Tarangire to see firsthand how Maasai herders are blocked from using this
resource. We also read McCabe’s article about conservation and development in Ngorongoro and then visit
the village of Nainokanoka and hike with Maasai guides
who teach us about the impact of the agriculture bans
on local communities. We read Hodgson’s work on
indigenous identity and Parkipuny’s writing on development in Maasai areas. For a visit to a Hadzabe commuwww.anthropology-news.org
nity, we read James Woodburn’s work on hunter gatherers and then at the base of Gederu rock, Alicia Baker
reports on “immediate-return societies” who collect
enough food for the day but do not stock up. After this
we collect tubers and learn how to make arrows and
hunt.
What brings this course alive for students is learning
through immersion and reflecting on that learning
through field journals. “My experience in Tanzania
with you all two summers ago was unquestionably my
multiple wives). When we visited our Maasai host’s
enkang in Terat village, some female GSTZ students
commented on the difference between the way female
and male students were greeted. In her journal GTSZ
participant Lily Wilkinson reflects, “When we arrived, I
definitely experienced a bit of culture shock abiding by
their [Maasai] gender discrepancies as we were greeted.
Each of us women approached the senior man, Ipanga,
with our heads bowed and had Maggie [our Tanzanian
leader] standing by to guide us through our greeting
appropriately.” Despite initial discomfort, the students all followed the kuwa
flexible approach.
“Haraka, haraka haina baraka”
(hurry, hurry) has no blessing. GSTZ
students exhibited this attitude when
the LandRover’s alternator failed in
Nainokanoka village. GSTZ students
sat down avoiding the stinging nettles
nearby and used the time to snack on
crisps (potato chips) and to interact
with a gathering crowd of Maasai children from the village.
Perhaps the “haraka haraka haina
baraka” spirit of flexibility in the face
of uncertainty is one of the most useful
lessons Tanzania taught the GSTZ
students. This African mindfulness
practice urges one to slow down and
recognize and respect other humans.
Returning to the challenge posed to
me by Oxfam team member Rahab Kenana, perhaps
what I can offer as a researcher is sharing the rich philosophical lessons I learned with the GSTZ students.
Partly as a result of slowing down and cultivating gratitude, our GSTZ alumni groups of 2013 and 2012 worked
together to raise funds to bring safari guide Maggie
Duncan Simbeye to participate in CU-Boulder’s April
2014 Conference on World Affairs (CWA). The goal
was not only to bring Maggie to the US but also to help
facilitate knowledge building that would reach a broader
audience. As director of DARE Women’s Foundation,
Maggie creates opportunities to empower Tanzanian
women through education and health.
“My experience in Tanzania with you all
two summers ago was unquestionably
my most exciting, incredible, enriching,
transformative, and memorable experience
of my entire college career and possibly
my life.”
most exciting, incredible, enriching, transformative and
memorable experience of my entire college career and
possibly my life,” writes Billy Kromka on the GSTZ
2012 Facebook page. “I learn through doing,” says Kevin
Shepard, GSTZ 2013, and “in some ways I learned more
on the GSTZ than I did during four years of college.”
GSTZ students are required to keep a daily field immersion journal and identify key themes when they return
home. They learn about asking open-ended questions
such as “tell me about…” instead of “do you like?” I also
teach them about triangulation of data sources to help
verify trends.
“Kuwa flexible” and “Haraka, haraka, haina baraka” are
two Kiswahili sayings that encapsulate lessons learned
from the GSTZ. Kuwa flexible, a Kiswahili-English
hybrid literally means “be flexible.” Our Tanzanian guide
Maggie Simbeye, who is one of only six female driver
guides in the country, uses kuwa flexible like a mantra.
Kuwa flexibleembodies the idea of living in the present
and relaxing. It also relates to the anthropological
concept of cultural relativism and suspending judgment.
An example is when GSTZ visited a Maasai “enkang” (a
homestead usually belonging to different members of
one family including male head of household and his
Laura DeLuca is an assistant professor of environmental
and peace studies at Naropa U, a Buddhist-inspired
university in Boulder, Colorado where she teaches in the
environmental leadership MA program. The author’s
email address is [email protected]
Published October 8, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
33
| January/February 2015
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
SOCIETY FOR THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF WORK
Reflections from the Field
An Experience as a SAW Intern
Aaron Leo
One of the first memories I have of my internship with
United Workers, a human rights organization based in
Baltimore, was attending a housing roundtable which
had been organized to address the dearth of affordable
housing for low-income residents of Baltimore City. At
the table sat attorneys, community leaders, high school
students, members of labor and faith-based institutions,
advocates for the homeless, and social workers. Seven
weeks later, I would attend another roundtable meeting,
although by that time I had learned several important
points about community organizing which resonated
with my work as an anthropologist.
The roundtable, specifically, was engaged in a longterm project to create Community Land Trusts in
Baltimore. These tracts of communally held land could
be bought and sold, but only at a fixed rate which was
immune to the dynamics of market speculation. Most
significantly, the roundtable was working towards a
structural understanding of housing inequality which
took into account the history of class and race in
Baltimore. Members were concerned with not simply
creating more affordable housing units in the city, but
also fostering among community residents a critical
view of market-based capitalism. As one member put
it, “we’re interested in doing more than just putting a
Band-Aid on a bad situation.”
Their approach called to mind Antonio Gramsci’s
distinction between a “War of Maneuver” and a “War
of Position”. Gramsci realized, as did the members of
the roundtable, that societal struggles required, in the
case of the former, mobilization of material force as
well as, in the latter, discursive battles. Thus, a “War
of Position” is not just about fighting to create affordable housing units, it’s engendering a critical counterhegemony which poses the question of how and why
Baltimore has tens of thousands of vacant buildings, a burgeoning (read gentrifying) harbor district,
but lacks affordable housing for huge segments of its
population.
Conversations on doorsteps, in meetings, or at local
block parties often addressed these contradictions
which have been brought to a peak under neoliberal
capitalism. Many community residents, even those who
didn’t consider themselves active in any movement,
were often quite knowledgeable about the structural
roots of the inequality which was part of their day-today life. Long-time residents of the city often presented
a trenchant critique of the historically racist policies
which have disadvantaged low-income populations of
color throughout the city.
United Workers also demonstrated the unifying
power of human rights language. Capitalizing on the
numerous community organizations throughout the
city, United Workers recognized both the fragmentation and power of Baltimore’s grassroots organizations. By deploying a human rights framework, United
Workers effectively coalesced many groups with disparate goals around the ideals of universality and equality
across color and class lines. Yet, the universalizing principles of human rights never seemed to supersede the
distinct race and class histories of the populations of
Baltimore which were often the main focus of dialogues.
Another aspect of the community organizing which I
found to be integral to the workings of United Workers
was their emphasis on education. Many meetings were
inclusive, participatory and brought the voices of youngsters to the table. In one instance, I recall a member of
United Workers taking several high school students to
the library to find old photos of houses in their neighborhood. They would later juxtapose these decadesold photos with current photos they took of their
neighborhoods. This approach type of political education reminded me of Paulo Freire’s problem-posing
approach to learning. By taking meaningful themes
from their own lives and problematizing their contradictory elements, students took the Freirean step of
asking “But why?” Placing the photos alongside one
another, students contemplated the changes in their
city and their communities, and their roles as agents
in facilitating change. It is this dialectic of action and
reflection which is key to Freire’s approach to a form of
learning which facilitates social change. Furthermore, it
is precisely the contradictions inherent to late capitalism
which critics of neoliberalism such as David Harvey and
Michael Apple see as the most fruitful places to begin a
lasting social movement.
Working with United Workers this summer also
demonstrated the need for anthropologists interested
in education, like myself, to engage in multi-sited ethnographic works. Although ethnographies of schooling
most often bring anthropologists to different community spaces, many often spend most of their time
in schools. This summer, I hardly spent any time in
Baltimore schools, yet I gained a sharper clarity of how
social inequalities, such as a lack of affordable housing,
must be seen as interconnected with unequal schooling
outcomes.
The sites of urban struggle should be seen as central
to the focus of social scientists who are interested in
the role that schools play in reproducing class and race
inequality in the US. In particular, neoliberal narratives
which justify the reach of capital into the public sphere
and transfer the explanations for inequality to individuals are the terrain of struggle for anthropologists
who are interested in class and race stratification both
inside and outside of schools. I’m grateful to the Society
for the Anthropology of Work and United Workers for
giving me the opportunity to see how these struggles
are connected, and, crucially, to recognize the modes of
resistance initiated by communities who are asserting
their right to the city.
For images and additional information readers can
access the United Workers website, the United Workers
Flickr page and watch a short film about the United
Workers housing campaign. SAW sponsors a paid
internship for students in the early stages of their doctoral
careers. Students work for eight weeks during the summer
with an organization selected by SAW. For additional
information about the annual internship sponsored by
SAW please direct questions to SAW President Charles
Menzies ([email protected]). Our column
welcomes all materials of interest to SAW members.
Please direct inquiries and ideas to Susanna Donaldson
at [email protected]
Published October 31, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
SOCIETY FOR ANTHROPOLOGY IN COMMUNITY COLLEGES
From a Survey of Anthropology to Actually
Applying It
Barbara Jones
Brookdale Community C
Anthropology courses offered at community colleges
are apt to be of the survey variety. There tends to be
34
a basic cultural anthropology course, an introduction
to physical/biological anthropology or archaeology,
and, if you are really lucky, a course in linguistics or
something applied, like an archaeological field or lab
methods course. Typically there are also a couple
of 200-level courses, but even at that level, community college faculty in New Jersey (where I teach)
can’t expect to teach something as mind-enriching
as ethnographic methods for transferrable credit. So
many of the really wonderful anthropology courses
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
seem to be just out of our reach because of those two
dreadful words: transferrable credit. Admittedly, in
this age of high college costs, we want our students
to take courses that readily transfer so they can
complete their four-year degree in something close
to four years; however, we also want to enhance their
community college learning experience by offering
something more than traditional bread and butter
survey courses.
I have been somewhat fortunate in being, what it
feels like anyhow, the last of the generalists most institutions ever hired, so although my academic training
is in cultural anthropology, I participated in several
archaeological field schools as I worked my way through
graduate school. The field school experiences allowed
me to take over our archaeological field school, which,
when I arrived at my institution years ago, had disappeared off the course schedule. Moreover, because
I was the first academically trained anthropologist
hired in our program, I was able to develop a 200-level
course that actually addressed contemporary issues in
cultural anthropology. Sadly, though, once the almost
essential stint as department chair swallowed me up,
I no longer had time to run the field school and the
course again disappeared from the schedule. That loss
to our students was significant not only in terms of
student learning, but also in their engagement with
other anthropology courses. The results of the student
survey for our five-year program review hinted at just
how significant this loss was to our students. They loved
anthropology, but they wanted to see it at work.
Archaeology was one way we could show students
how anthropology worked, but it still did not attract all
that many students and it didn’t show those students
interested in cultural anthropology or linguistics how
ethnographic methods actually worked. Field assignments in our survey courses helped, as did larger field
projects in the 200-level courses, but, according to the
survey results from our program review, they didn’t
offer our students enough. Each year a few students did
sign-up to complete a special project in cultural anthropology. In their quest to understand another culture,
those few really got to experience anthropology in
action. The problem with a special project, though, was
it only transferred as elective credit, so students had
to be really committed to a degree in anthropology or
have at least an intense curiosity about the discipline to
consider taking on such a project.
The student survey results of our five-year program
review really bothered me because I felt we were shortchanging our students. Our department needed to
create a transferrable course that had more real worldapplications that were relatable to our students. The
answer to this problem came from a lucky coincidence
within my department of anthropologists and sociologists. I was actually trained through the human
ecology wing of anthropology, while my office neighbor,
Joe Boyle, a sociologist, studied topics related to the
environment through his training in criminology. Our
complementary interests in human environmental
issues suggested to us a possible solution to our mutual
need to engage students in real-life social science. We
decided to design an introductory course (hopefully
avoiding the pitfalls the more established survey courses
had) in human ecology, where students would learn
about topics like eco-terrorism and eco-tourism; they
could learn about the environment through lecture
topics on climate disruption to perceptions of nature;
they could begin to think about human dietary choices
that included veganism and vegetarianism; and they
could consider how we use economic metrics to value
resources whether it be through cap and trade or flood
protection. Since our campus practically abuts the Jersey
Shore and we have been victims of climate disruption
through massive flooding and unprecedented storms,
the course has the potential to offer our students a
chance to learn about real-world issues through an
anthropological lens in a 100-level transferable course.
To provide an actual hands-on applied component to the course, we plan to offer not only a human
ecology course, but also a human ecology lab. The
lab will give students the opportunity to work with
professionals in the field as they strive to resolve
issues as diverse as returning oysters to the Raritan
Bay to the benefits of monetizing birding in Cape
May County so bird habitat can be preserved because
it has economic, as well as intrinsic value. Since New
Jersey is called the Garden State, connecting students
to agriculture will be another critical component of
both courses’ content. For the lab we intend to invite
speakers from farmers markets and pick-your-own
operations to demonstrate to students how important value-added components (eg, hay rides, haunted
houses, barn weddings, and wine tasting) are to farm
survival in a state as expensive as New Jersey is to own
land and produce food.
Our goal with this human ecology course and lab is to
offer our students a chance to learn about anthropology
(and sociology) in a way that makes these disciplines
more meaningful to them. By making it a survey-type
course, the course will transfer more readily, leading to
a speedier completion of a student’s degree; yet, because
the course is geared to satisfying recognized deficiencies within our own programs, we can heavily focus our
learning outcomes on more applied aspects of our disciplines. If this course succeeds, my hope is, in another
few years, during our next five-year program review,
students will say how much they enjoyed learning about
how anthropology works.
Barbara Jones is the contributing editor for SACC’s
column in Anthropology News.
Published September 23, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM
Anthropology in the High School Classroom
Erin Dean
New C Florida
More and more high schools in the United States are
including anthropology courses in their curriculum,
presenting unique opportunities and challenges for the
discipline. Dexter Chapin teaches classes in cultural
anthropology, zoology, and sustainable systems at Seattle
Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS), a college-preparatory school in downtown Seattle, WA. I asked him
about his experiences as a high school anthropology
instructor. Below is part one of a two-part interview.
Erin Dean (ED): Why is it important to teach anthropology at the high school level?
Dexter Chapin (DC): I think there are several reasons;
in the abstract and in no particular order:
www.anthropology-news.org
• “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world
safe for human differences.” –Ruth Benedict
• There is no accepted or expected curriculum so
we can wander without boundaries across the
sciences, history, art, and language as the students
and teacher negotiate. In doing so, it is one of the few
(only?) high school courses that can weave together
the disparate, isolated elements of their education.
• No other course allows the same kind of discussions of ideas such as schismogenesis, Thom’s cusp,
Touraine’s historicity and System Dynamics.
• The Worldview Paper (as outlined by Funk and
others) is reported by former students to be the best,
most important, and long-lasting assignment ever.
ED: You mention the Worldview Paper; can you describe
that project? Are there any other activities, assignments, or
topics that have been especially engaging to your students?
DC: When I started teaching anthro in the seventies, I
asked the students to list as many colors as possible in
90 seconds. The girls always listed more, and boys had
no idea about taupe. Today, the numbers are closer but
boys still have little or no idea about taupe. I use this
to demonstrate that nobody has the entirety of their
culture, subculture, or sub-subculture in their heads.
So, the worldview paper is an exploration of what
is in their heads. The starting point is the definition, “A worldview is the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence
all one’s perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing.” An
outline is provided by Funk . Other sources include the
Encyclopedia Cybernetica, science blogs, introduction
sections of Exploring Diversity… and a bunch of other
readings selected as we go along. (I once overheard my
See
Classroom on page 36
35
| January/February 2015
Classroom
continued from page 35
course described as “Whatever Dexter thinks is cool
and interesting today.”)
This paper is about 80% of their grade. At least that
is what I tell them. In reality, everybody who puts in
the time and effort does well. They have eight weeks
to write it. I measure time and effort in terms of selfdescribed progress and how many drafts I get to read.
In the drafts, I look for reductio ad absurdum; when
do their first principles cross each other? (The old
Vietnam, nonviolent CO question about family rape
and killing; obviously one ranks one’s values and it is
a simple answer). At 18, and maybe for the rest of their
lives, these conflicts arise. It’s just nice to identify them
in advance.
Everybody understands that worldviews are dynamic,
and some folks are expert at changing them (Marine
DI’s); at 18, their worldview best not be cast in concrete.
But, next year, in discussions with their roommates, they
will be more successful if they try to understand another
worldview. In my honors anthro class the students have
to compare at least two elements of their worldview
with the Bantu version described by Temples (Bantu
Philosophy 1959) and by the book Muntu (Jahn 1990).
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Other assignments have included flint knapping to
prove that those folks are smart and skillful. I quit that
when we started to draw too much blood.
A lesser assignment that many enjoy is to write a
creation myth. We look at a bunch and if it is to be original, it is a creative stretch.
ED: It seems like you have a lot of flexibility to make
this class current and relevant. How does your cultural
anthropology course fit within the Seattle Academy
curriculum?
DC: I am not sure I have ever been hired to teach
anthro. I am hired to teach science, mostly life sciences,
and anthro just develops. SAAS hired me to teach
anthro from the beginning. I’m not sure why, but it fits
well with the social culture here. It has been a long,
long time since we first had an openly gay student-body
president, openly gay, married teachers, and transgender faculty and students. Do we go looking for
them? No. They come our way because they know it
can work for them. I say this because as I suggested in
the first answer, anthro makes it safe to be different.
I teach it as a senior history elective. It is one of a
wide range of such electives. I do not wish to teach
younger kids because I think the worldview paper
might not work well with younger kids. Today’s class,
after watching Genie: Secret of the Wild Child, I asked
kids what could you remove and still be human. It was a
wonderful class. I just pointed out that very smart folks
could disagree.
Part two of this interview was published in the October
Anthropology in the Classroom column on October 21,
2014. Both parts will be archived in AnthroSource.
Dexter Chapin has a BA in cultural anthropology
and biology (Stanford U) and a PhD in educational
administration and policy (U Maryland). In 2009, Dexter
was named to the NAIS Teachers of the Future program. He
currently teaches at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Erin Dean is an environmental anthropologist and
associate professor at the New C Florida. She focuses
on conservation and development in Tanzania and
Zanzibar. She is particularly interested in how control
of land and resources is negotiated and ordered based
on gender, age, ethnicity, class, political affiliation and
institutional status.
Published September 25, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
A Literature of Practice
Kerry Fosher
Marine Corps U
As I have read this column over the last several months,
I’ve been heartened to see many familiar themes. Contributors have covered the partialness and compromises involved in influencing decisions and policy, the
complexities of implementation in large institutions,
the importance of anthropologists as representatives of
perspectives that are sometimes scarce in government,
the need for persistence and endurance. These are critical aspects of practicing anthropology in the public sector and in other contexts. It was tempting to write on
these same themes from the perspective of working in
the Department of Defense (DoD). However, I wanted
to take the chance to write about communicating back
to the discipline, what Riall Nolan calls the “literature
of practice”.
Accounts from practicing anthropologists have the
capacity to transfer knowledge about large institutions
or understudied populations back into the discipline.
AAA has created a gray literature search site, which is a
great step in the right direction. Some research reports
produced by anthropologists working in or sponsored
by government also are posted on one of the government technical information exchanges, such as the
Defense Technical Information Center or National
Technical Information Service. These venues capture
knowledge developed in the course of research projects.
However, they still leave us with a gap in terms of knowl-
36
edge developed through means other than research,
and because this knowledge is not developed in the
kinds of projects familiar to the discipline, it often goes
under-reported.
Accounts from practicing
anthropologists have the capacity
to transfer knowledge about large
institutions or understudied
considering working with DoD or information to be
used by anthropologists doing critical analyses of the
military. There is some utility in that.
What practicing anthropologists can contribute goes
beyond talking about travelers’ advice. As is the case
with many practicing anthropologists, despite the fact
that I was not conducting a research project on science
and technology processes in DoD, my knowledge development was informed by theory, method, and
critique. If written up appropriately, it could
make a contribution to the anthropology of
organizations, science, policy, and so forth.
So why don’t more of us do this kind of
publication? There is the usual tyranny of
time and restrictions or burdensome review
processes on publication. There are human
subjects concerns given that few of us are able
to obtain informed consent from every individual we might encounter in a given work
year.
I think there also are structural issues within
the conventions of anthropological writing and
publication. I’ll mention just two of them here.
First, writing from the standpoint of practice while
being attentive to the rights of other people in the work
context can be complex given the informed consent
challenges mentioned above. The solution I have used
in the past has been to write in the abstract, aggregating knowledge gained across many interactions and
settings. The results lack the ethnographic richness and
illustrative quotations that characterize anthropological
writing. I also have experimented with small interview
projects to supplement practice-derived knowledge, but
this too has limitations. I’m sure others have experi-
populations back into the discipline.
Much of what we publish as practicing anthropologists either reports on discrete research projects or takes
the form of “notes from the field” or personal accounts
of what it is like to work in our organizations. Many of
the venues we use, often chapters or short pieces in journals, are not designed to accommodate lengthy theoretical or critical analyses and undergo minimal or no
peer review. From my work within DoD, I have come
to know a fair amount about the structures, processes,
and discourses involved in how DoD sponsors and uses
research. I could write it up as cautionary tales for those
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
CAREER DEVELOPMENT
mented with different approaches and I hope they will
share their experiences and advice.
Second, most publication venues are designed to
present the results of traditional or applied research
projects. Editors and readers have come to expect
certain things about evidence, standpoint and bias.
We all know, more or less, what it means to gather
information through fieldwork and to accept grants
to support research. Authors do not need to expend
article space explaining these things. NSF sponsorship
can be mentioned in a footnote and people understand,
but I don’t think most readers would be satisfied with a
footnote stating only that my knowledge was developed
while employed by DoD. Addressing how knowledge
was developed in a particular practicing context and
accounting for limitations and biases would take much
more explication, diminishing the amount of space
dedicated to the topic.
Regular communication of knowledge back to the
discipline from the standpoint of practice in ways that
show theoretical rigor and critical perspectives require
different formats. Digital publication may make that
more feasible. We will need to develop acceptable
practices for describing standards of evidence, bias,
and constraint. We will need to think through how to
provide ethnographically compelling accounts without
violating confidentiality principles.
Those of us experimenting with this kind of writing
also need to risk reaching out beyond our immediate
circles of trusted colleagues for advice and critique. For
example, I am working on a project now to combine
practice-derived knowledge with documentary and
interview research in examining how people in military
organizations understand and use scientific expertise
and research. I would welcome discussion and advice
about how to communicate what I am finding.
These are challenges, but many people, with far more
experience in the practicing and applied realms than
I, are thinking about them. I am hopeful and encouraged by the willingness of colleagues from practicing,
applied, and traditional anthropology to engage in these
discussions.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not
represent the position of the USMC.
Kerry Fosher is a practicing cultural anthropologist
focused on the integration of social science into decisionmaking in complex organizations. She has published on
homeland security, ethics, and accounts of practice in
DoD.
Sarah Ono, Heather Schacht Reisinger and
Samantha L Solimeo are contributing editors of
Anthropology in the Public Sector.
Published October 14, 2014 on
anthropology-news.org
Meet the 2015 AN Columnists
Anthropology News invites you to get to know
our new and returning Columnists for 2015.
• Myeashea Alexander
• Christopher D Lynn
• Lance Arney
• Gabriella Sanchez
• Laura DeLuca
• Robert Sauders
• Carrie Ida Edinger
• Sarah Ono, Heather Reisinger
• Michael E Harkin
& Samantha Solemeo
• Samantha Kittinger
• Daniel Martin Varisco
• Sergio Lemus
• Emilie Venables
Keep up with them on anthropology-news.org.
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CAREER DEVELOPMENT
CAREER CENTER JOBS | careercenter.aaanet.org
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Department of Anthropology seeks a
full-time tenure-track archaeologist, in
the early stages of an academic career
(ie, eight years or less in a tenure track
position), to begin August 1, 2015. The
successful candidate will have an active
research and teaching agenda focusing
on the archaeology of the indigenous peoples of southeastern North
America, engage in multidisciplinary
research and collaboration, and have a
strong methodological specialization.
It is important that the candidate be
able to teach introductory archaeology
in rotation, cultural resource management, and courses that focus on the
prehistoric and native peoples of the
southeast. The ideal candidate would
also have research interests in Native/
European/African interaction in the
colonial and early post-colonial period
of the Southeast, Middle Atlantic or
Caribbean. An active field program is
preferred. Inter-subdisciplinary orientations that interface with biological/
forensic anthropology and/or cultural
anthropology, and the ability to
teach qualitative/mixed methods are
highly desired, as is a commitment to
mentoring students for both academic
and other professional career trajectories. The PhD must be in hand at
the time of appointment. Send a letter
of application, curriculum vitae, and
a list of three references to: Dr David
G Anderson, Chair, Archaeology
Search Committee, Department of
Anthropology, The University of
Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-0720.
Review of applications began November
15, with initial interviews held at
upcoming professional meetings, and
will continue until the position is filled.
The University of Tennessee is an EEO/
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AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/
ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment
programs and services. All qualified
applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard
to race, color, national origin, religion,
sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual
orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered
veteran status. The Knoxville campus
of the University of Tennessee is
seeking candidates who have the ability
to contribute in meaningful ways to the
diversity and intercultural goals of the
University.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Department of Anthropology seeks a
full-time tenure-track cultural anthro-
pologist, in the early stages of an
academic career (ie, eight years or less
in a tenure track position), to begin
August 1, 2015. The successful candidate will have an active research and
teaching agenda that contributes to the
department’s Disasters, Displacement
and Human Rights (DDHR) undergraduate concentration and graduate
certificate program. While thematic
and regional specializations are open,
we particularly seek candidates with
expertise in any combination of the
following: disaster studies; medical
anthropology and/or public health;
political economy and/or development studies; environmental anthropology (including climate change);
applied/public/engaged anthropology;
critical humanitarian studies; science
and technology studies; identity (race,
ethnicity, gender, sexuality); and human
trafficking. Applicants must demonstrate an approach informed by the
historical, legal and ethical norms of
human rights. Inter-subdisciplinary
orientations that embody or enable
creative interfaces with biological/
forensic anthropology and/or archaeology, and the ability to teach qualitative/mixed methods are highly desired.
Commitment to mentoring students for
both academic and other professional
career trajectories, and active participation in DDHR program development
and departmental life, are essential. The
PhD must be in hand at the time of
appointment. Send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and list of three
references to: Dr Tricia Redeker-Hepner,
Chair, Cultural Search Committee,
Department of Anthropology, The
University of Tennessee, Knoxville,
TN 37996-0720. Review of applications will begin November 15, with
initial interviews held at the American
Anthropological Association meeting,
and will continue until the position is
filled. The University of Tennessee is
an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA/ADEA institution in the
provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal
consideration for employment without
regard to race, color, national origin,
religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status,
sexual orientation, gender identity, age,
physical or mental disability, or covered
veteran status. The Knoxville campus
of the University of Tennessee is
seeking candidates who have the ability
to contribute in meaningful ways to the
diversity and intercultural goals of the
University.
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January/February 2015 |
IN MEMORIAM
IN MEMORIAM
AN is the association’s major vehicle for information about the death of our colleagues, but it is only as good as the information
received. As a service to the discipline, please notify editor Amy Goldenberg ([email protected]) as soon as you learn
of a death. AN death notices may be up to 500 words and are always enhanced by a photo (tiff or jpg format). Please check
facts with the deceased’s family and colleagues prior to submission. American Anthropologist commissions longer obituaries of
selected anthropologists after their AN death notices appear; different authors are preferred. For information on potential AA
obituaries, contact AA Obituary Editor Sydel Silverman ([email protected]).
Paul TW Baxter, 89, was
a British social anthropologist who made substantial contributions to our
knowledge and understanding of the Oromo
peoples of northern Kenya and Ethiopia. Born in
1925 in Leamington Spa,
at Downing College Cambridge he switched from
English to anthropology in his final year. In 1949, he
moved to Oxford to do a BLitt and DPhil in the Institute of Social Anthropology then under EE EvansPritchard.
In 1951, he took up a Colonial Office appointment
to study the Borana of northern Kenya. This first fieldwork experience established the two principal themes
of Paul’s professional activities: the culture and social
organization of the Oromo and the patterns and
processes of pastoral societies generally.
Paul was by this time married with one son and
the need for gainful employment was pressing. In
1956, he took a post at the then University College
of the Gold Coast where he stayed for five years.
Returning to the UK in 1961, Paul took a one-year
post at the University of Manchester, standing in
for VW Turner. He then spent two years lecturing
at University College Swansea before returning to
Manchester.
Paul’s engagement with pastoral societies was
driven by his respect for their resilience under
extreme conditions. He frequently disagreed with
development economists and government officials
who tended to see pastoralism as a problem, not as a
legitimate technique for exploiting a harsh environment. He once astounded a meeting of development
worthies saying that what was needed was fewer
economists and more poets in development studies.
Paul edited two significant contributions to pastoral
studies: Poverty, Property and People (1990) and When
the Grass is Gone (1991).
Paul’s published a constant flow of papers on many
aspects of Oromo culture, ranging from their complex
generation-grading system, Gada, to aspects of their
poetry, and produced a rich seam of information for
students. Fieldwork among the Arssi Oromo aroused
another passion in Paul: the exploitation and denigration of the Oromo in Ethiopia by the ruling Amhara
elite. In 1978 he published a paper detailing systematic discrimination. This became a rallying point for
Oromo nationalists. Paul was not always happy with
the adulation he received but felt that on the grounds
www.anthropology-news.org
of common humanity and justice the Oromo cause
had to be supported.
Paul described himself as a camp-fire ethnographer, rather than a great theoretician. His interest
in others’ ethnography led him to convene seminars
which resulted in publications which have contributed significantly to our knowledge. To the two
pastoral volumes should be added Age Generation and
Time (1978) and Being and Becoming Oromo (1996).
He was also an outstanding teacher, going to extraordinary lengths to help his many graduate students, as
evidenced in the contributions to his Festschrift , A
River of Blessings (1994).
Paul married Patricia in 1944. She accompanied
him on all his field trips first with their son Timothy,
who sadly died in 2005, and then Adam born in 1964.
Paul is survived by Patricia, Adam, four grandchildren
and three great grandchildren. (Hector Blackhurst)
Paul S Breidenbach, 75,
passed from this life on
July 29, 2014 in Evanston,
IL. He was born in 1939 in
Webster Groves, Missouri,
a St Louis suburb. Paul
is remembered as a brilliant and creative teacher,
symbolic anthropologist,
Africanist, dobro musician
and associate professor of
anthropology at Loyola University Chicago.
Following high school Paul joined the Christian
Brothers, a Catholic religious order devoted to the
poor and education. After earning his BA at St Mary’s
College, he began his career by teaching history in
Chicago high schools. In 1969 he left the Christian
Brothers to study anthropology at Northwestern
University earning his Master’s degree (1969) and his
Doctorate (1973) under the mentorship of Johannes
Fabian, Paul Bohannon and Oswald Werner.
In 1972 Paul joined the faculty of Loyola University
Chicago, where he remained until his retirement in
2009. Paul’s fieldwork was among a Christian Healing
Movement in Ghana, where he later returned to make
an ethnographic film. He published in various journals including, The Journal of the International African
Institute; Journal of Religion in Africa; Listening: Journal
of Religion and Culture; African Arts; and International
Journal of African Historical Studies. His work also
appears in a special issue of Journal of Social Research
on Religious Movements as Discourse (edited by
Johannes Fabian) and in The New Religions of Africa
(edited by Benetta Jules-Rossette). Paul subsequently
developed interests in media and culture, and turned
his ethnographic expertise to video games, publishing
with colleagues Talmadge Wright and Eric Boria in
Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer
Game Research.
Paul was a charismatic teacher and inspiring
mentor: he entranced generations of students with
his dramatic, creative lectures and his enthusiasm
for anthropology. Especially memorable were his first
sessions of Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: he
violated cultural norms by entering class wearing his
shoe on his head and ending class by inviting students
to lunch at the local “Kentucky Fried Dog.” He also
taught graduate and upper division classes on specialized topics, including visual representations of culture
and history of anthropological thought (where he
captivated students with energetic impersonations of
Franz Boas as anthropology’s “gladiator” against scientific racism). Through his classes he recruited majors
and left indelible marks on many lives.
Paul was also a gifted musician and avid international traveler, making yearly pilgrimages to Europe
for concerts and frequent trips to Asia. In his youth
he played dobro in the band Ozark Mountain Boys,
with Doug Dillard and other celebrated bluegrass
musicians. He also recorded albums with noted folk
and bluegrass performers including Anne Hills and
John Hartford. He was well-known in the Chicago
music scene, playing in Chicago clubs with local
bands, such as Hot Tamales and Brushfire. (See him
singing and playing dobro here: www.youtube.com/
watch?v=R6igRZ-q_Ic). Paul’s additional passions
included Baroque music (especially Handel’s operas),
pre-Raphaelite painting, auctions, and his Roger’s Park
neighborhood coffee house.
Paul is survived by his partner, Sharon Pierson, her
children, John and Alisa, and, two brothers, Walter
and Bob. (Kathleen M Adams and Christine Fry)
Peter B Hammond, 86, died
in Los Angeles, CA on October
4, 2014. His warmth, humor and
inquisitive spirit will be forever
cherished by the family, friends
and UCLA students whom
he inspired. Born in Glendale,
California, Peter completed his
PhD in cultural anthropology
at Northwestern University
in 1962. After teaching at the
University of Pittsburgh (1957–62) and Indiana
University (1962–65), he moved with his wife, Fatmeh
(Azar) Isfahani-Zadeh, an Iranian nurse anesthetist,
and their daughter, Alexandra Aryana, to Washington,
DC, where he was a successful consultant for
numerous high-profile federal agencies. Quitting his
position at the National Academy of Sciences at
the onset of the Vietnam War, Peter became a fulltime writer, whereupon his Introduction to Cultural
and Social Anthropology (1971) was adopted as a key
text in undergraduate courses nation-wide. In 1981,
Peter was recruited by UCLA, where he thrived as
a beloved member of the campus community for 33
years, cofounding international development studies,
chairing the Chancellor’s Task Force on Lesbian,
Gay, and Bisexual Studies, which led to the establishment of UCLA’s LGBT Studies Program, and
39
| January/February 2015
receiving UCLA’s prestigious “Luckman Award for
Distinguished Teaching” in 1996.
Peter was raised by his courageous mother, Ruth
Hammond, a seamstress and Woolworth’s clerk.
Notwithstanding physical disability, she was his tireless advocate, celebrating his accomplishments and
visiting him during his field research days in West
Africa. His father, the Pulitzer Prize-winning economist, Bray Hammond, remained absent from Peter’s
life, a painful circumstance which ignited his dedication to nurturing countless undergraduate, graduate
and junior faculty mentees, many of whom name him
as a life-changing father figure and identify his Haines
Hall office as a refuge.
Peter earned a hefty CIA file for his collaboration
with the NAACP in the 1950s, lit the fire of students’
awareness about interconnected forms of racial, socioeconomic and gender exclusion, and became vegetarian in 1960. Alzheimer’s did not diminish the core
of Peter’s intelligence and sense of fun. Dapper and
charming until the end, he adopted an ethnographic
stance toward his disease, regaling his caregivers and
dear friend, Carlos A Brown, with quips in English,
Spanish and French and observing the absurdity of
his condition until he ultimately passed away in his
daughters’ arms. Asked near the end what was important in life, Peter’s reply was “Falling in love, love in
general, figuring it out...and dogs.” He joins Azar, Ruth
and his half-siblings, Edwina, Poppitt (Brenda) and
Bennett. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may
be made to Compassion and Choices at www.compassionandchoices.org. (Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond)
William Francis “Bill”
Kelleher, Jr, 63, died of
melanoma on September
18, 2013 in Syracuse, NY.
Bill is survived by his wife,
Jo Thomas, and daughters,
Susan and Kathleen. A native
of West Roxbury (Boston),
Massachusetts, Bill earned
a BA in cultural anthropology from the University
of Massachusetts at Amherst and a PhD in anthropology in 1990 from the University of Michigan,
where he studied with Aram A Yengoyan.
Bill joined the faculty at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1990 as a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Unit for Criticism
and Interpretive Theory, then joined the faculty as a
member of the department of anthropology, where
he earned tenure and promotion and taught until
2005. In 2005 Bill joined the department of anthropology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and
Public Affairs at Syracuse University as an associate
professor, and he taught there until January 2013.
On April 24, 2014 Bill was posthumously awarded
the 2014 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty
Recognition Award from Syracuse University. This
award honors faculty members whose dedication to
graduate students and commitment to excellence in
graduate teaching and mentoring have made a significant contribution to graduate education at Syracuse
University.
Bill’s primary research and teaching interests were
in labor and class relations, the anthropology of work,
40
IN MEMORIAM
the effects of long term political violence on everyday
life, the work of historical memory in reproducing
such violent conflict (eg, Northern Ireland), and
the ethnography of race in institutions of American
higher education. Bill carried out several years of
ethnographic research in Northern Ireland where
he studied a factory shop floor, the historical narratives of opposed communities, the boundary making
processes of those neighborhoods, the networks
that result, and the sectarian practices that mobilize them. Bill published this work in his 2003 book,
The Troubles in Ballybogoin: Memory and Identity
in Northern Ireland (University of Michigan Press),
and in a series of journal articles and book chapters. Bill’s second book, A Death on the Irish Border:
A Critical Event and Transforming Subjects in War
and Peace, was under contract with the University
of California Press. The project examined peacemaking and healing among Irish nationalists in the
borderlands of Northern Ireland and the Republic of
Ireland. Bill’s study took account of the suffering that
past political violence engendered and the processes
by which both victims and perpetrators of violence
attempt to heal, reestablish themselves as citizens,
and construct civil society.
Bill was widely beloved by students at both UIUC
and Syracuse, where he taught undergraduate and
graduate courses on anthropological theory; work,
class, and culture; anthropology of neoliberalism;
colonialism/postcolonialism;
anthropological
perspectives on ethnicity; race and racism; critical
issues for the US; modern Europe; anthropology of
Ireland; anthropology of violence; culture, ethnicity,
and conflict; ethnography of the university; and
others. At UIUC Bill co-founded the Ethnography of
the University Project, which involved undergraduate
students in researching the institutions that surround
them with a focus on dynamics of racial discrimination. (Sarah Phillips)
Lucile Newman died peacefully surrounded by
family and friends on October 11, 2013 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. A wide network
of colleagues, friends and family mourn the death
of this eminent medical anthropologist, mother,
grandmother and mentor. As a feminist and political activist she was involved in the 1960s civil rights
and antiwar struggles, and the 1970s women’s movement. As an academic and applied anthropologist
she undertook groundbreaking research on female
reproductive health and early childhood education,
and she helped create mental health programs for
the World Health Organization and other endeavors
devoted to promoting global health and wellbeing.
Lucile was born in 1930 in Manhattan and received
her bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1951.
She received a master’s in English Literature from
Columbia University in 1956 and a PhD in cultural
anthropology from the University of California,
Berkeley in 1965. She taught at Mills College,
University of California, San Francisco, University of
California, Berkeley, and finally at Brown University
for 30 years, eventually as emeritus. Generations
of scholars claim her as an important mentor and
advisor.
Lucile was a charismatic teacher with an inclusive and engaging style. Her classes reached a wide
audience of anthropologists, psychologists, doctors,
nurses, and community and mental health workers
through her interdisciplinary appointments at Brown
and with the establishment of the joint medical
anthropology program at UC San Francisco and
Berkeley.
She was as generous in her service as she was with
students and colleagues. Lucile was elected president of the Society for Medical Anthropology and
was a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Wayland
Collegium. She served as consultant to WHO,
UNESCO, US Department of Education, NIMH,
March of Dimes, and the Ford Foundation, among
others and in leadership positions for the World
Federation for Mental Health and the World Heritage
Studies in India.
Lucile’s seminal work on pregnancy and childbirth
were at the core of the emerging field of the anthropology of reproduction, today medical anthropology’s
most dynamic scholarly domain. At UC Berkeley in
the 1960s, when anthropological studies of women’s
lives were scorned and Native peoples the only legitimate realm of domestic research, Lucile boldly
stuck out with dissertation research on the culture
of human reproduction in one US region. Following
this, she conducted comparative studies of birth
cultures in Stockholm, Tokyo, and Uttar Pradesh,
India. Her stand-alone Addison-Wiley module, “Birth
Control: An Anthropological View” (1972) remains a
teaching staple to this day.
Lucile also pioneered cross-cultural studies of
indigenous fertility regulation, human parenting
behavior, and the consequences of hospital and other
early experiences on premature infants. She wrote
or edited a number of important books and led
key anthropological studies that had wide-reaching
impact in the discipline, especially in the areas of
population anthropology, reproductive technologies,
and nutritional anthropology. Perhaps most importantly from a policy perspective, some of her earliest
publications were written to help make the case for
the legalization of abortion in the US.
She is survived by her three sons and their partners
and two grandsons. (Carole Browner and Setha Low)
Mary Ware Goodrich
Scrimshaw, 94 (November 23, 1919–June 18,
2014), was a nutritional anthropologist and founding
member of this subdiscipline in the American Anthropological Association.
Trained originally in biology and genetics, she made
the transition to nutritional anthropology as a graduate student in Brandeis
University’s anthropology department and after 12
years in Guatemala, where her husband, Nevin S
Scrimshaw, was founding director of the Institute of
Nutrition for Central America and Panama (INCAP).
Her ethnographic fieldwork contributed to an
“Ecological Assessment of Nutritional Status on a
Guatemalan Plantation” carried out by an interdisciplinary team of anthropologists, physicians, and
nutritionists. Thereafter, she continued her research
on household nutrition and livelihood strategies,
www.anthropology-news.org
January/February 2015 |
IN MEMORIAM
focusing on health and gender roles. This research
developed the concept of “maternal management
strategies” to examine factors influencing positive differences (positive deviance) in nutritional
outcomes, which impacts far beyond her publications.
Among her professional service activities, Mary
served as a liaison officer in the Council on Nutritional
Anthropology (now Society for Anthropology of Food
and Nutrition) and commissioner for the Western
Hemisphere of the ICAES International Commission
on Anthropology and Food (ICAF). In this capacity
she compiled (with Gretel Pelto) a Directory of
Anthropologists and Sociologists Concerned with Food
and Nutrition (1985). On her extensive international
travels, Mary carefully connected US with international anthropologists, and anthropologists to
nutritionists and dieticians, and in doing so, helped
construct personal and professional bridges facilitating work together.
Mary was also instrumental in organizing the “Short
Course on Nutritional Methods for Anthropologists”
workshops, which were held at MIT for several years.
Many current practicing nutritional anthropologists
participated in these workshops which had an important influence in their work.
With her quiet but confident demeanor, and intercultural and intergenerational sensitivity, Mary was
an excellent fieldworker, who developed a close
rapport with everyone she worked with—on the
plantation and in the research community at INCAP,
based in Guatemala City, where her husband Nevin
Scrimshaw was director. She was very supportive
of younger scholars, mentoring and enabling them to
do research in Guatemala, both through INCAP and
on the plantation.
Sheila Cosminsky, whom Mary invited to be a
co-investigator with her on the plantation, found
Mary’s cultural awareness, intellectual stimulation
and friendship were invaluable to their doing fieldwork, data analysis and writing together. She is
grateful for Mary’s introduction to the people on
the finca, who fondly remember Mary and were still
inquirinq about her this year.
Ellen Messer fondly recalls Mary’s constant and
joyful support of her and her work, her kindness,
wisdom and hospitality for all of us breaking into this
new anthropological field. Around the world, nutritionists remember Mary as a wonderfully intelligent,
inspirational, kind and hospitable host and guest, a
presence whose contributions go well beyond her
publications.
Mary’s beloved husband of 72 years predeceased
her by 15 months. She is survived by her daughter,
anthropologist Susan C Scrimshaw, four sons, 12
grandchildren and step-grandchildren, and two
great-grandchildren.
Contributions in her name may be made to
the Nevin S Scrimshaw International Nutrition
Foundation (www.inffoundation.org/index.htm).
(Ellen Messer and Sheila Cosminsky)
Kappa) from Florida State
University in 1988; an
MA in anthropology from
Florida State in 1990 and
a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University
of Pittsburgh in 1997. From
1991 to 1993, he served
as a Monbushô Graduate
Research Scholar through
the Japanese Ministry of
Education at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.
He also conducted graduate fieldwork at the Hakozaki Shrine in Fukuoka, Japan; was a visiting professor
at Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan; and served his
church for two years as a full-time missionary in
Taiwan. He spoke six languages.
For the past 15 years, Leslie served in the department of languages at Clemson University, rising to
the rank of associate professor, where he taught both
Japanese and anthropology courses. He also served
for the past three years as director of the university’s Language and International Trade Program.
His academic research focused on Japanese pedagogy, Shintô rituals, pre-Meiji Japanese history, Taoist
cosmology and health maximization practices. In
2007, he published Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology
in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki. He also published articles in the Journal of Ritual Studies and the Journal of
Daoist Studies. At the time of his death, he was finalizing two other books for publication and preparing
his application to become a full professor at Clemson.
Leslie also led highly successful study abroad trips to
Kyoto, Japan; in fact, he had just returned from a trip
in late June when he entered the hospital in mid-July
for his operation. Before moving to Clemson, Leslie
held faculty positions at Brigham Young University
and Washington and Lee University.
In each of his academic endeavors, Leslie made
treasured, life-long friends of his students and
colleagues. On two occasions Leslie was named an
Outstanding Clemson Professor by the University’s
Student Government, and he was especially proud
of his students in the Japanese language and culture
courses he enjoyed so much at Clemson. On Leslie’s
Facebook memorial page, one of his former students
summarized the typical comments about him: “I
can’t even adequately express how much of an influence Dr Williams has had on my life ... As a teacher
he had a way of inspiring the best in his students. ...
He was passionate and patient and kind every day.
I’ve never had a better teacher .... The world is a little
dimmer now without him here.”
Leslie is survived by his languages and anthropology departmental colleagues at Clemson, his
current and former students, his strong faith community, and his family: Michelle (his wife of 25 years)
and their three children: Emmy (21), Bethany (17) and
Ethan (13). (Information provided from the family obituary, edited by Mike Coggeshall).
E Leslie Williams, Jr, 48, died unexpectedly on
July 10, 2014, in Greenville, SC, following complications from a hernia operation.
Leslie was a native Floridian, born in Tallahassee
on November 18, 1965. He earned a double degree
in Asian Studies and International Affairs (Phi Beta
Virginia Heyer Young, 88, anthropologist and
emerita lecturer at the University of Virginia, died
quietly at her home in Albemarle County, VA on August 11, 2014.
Born April 28, 1926 in Vancouver, BC, Virginia
Young grew up in Tarrytown, NY. Virginia received
www.anthropology-news.org
her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1946 and
her PhD in anthropology
from Columbia University
in 1953. She taught anthropology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New
Jersey and Finch College
in New York City, before
coming to the University
of Virginia where she was
a beloved member of the department of anthropology from 1978 to 1995.
At Columbia, Virginia was one of Ruth Benedict’s
last students, participating in Benedict’s and Margaret
Mead’s Research in Contemporary Cultures project.
For the next 30 years, Virginia carried out research
among the Chinese of New York’s Chinatown,
African Americans in the American south and in
Harlem, and Afro-Caribbean people on the island
of St Vincent in the post-colonial British Caribbean.
Virginia published many articles as well as a book,
Becoming West Indian: Culture, Self, and Nation in St.
Vincent (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993), which
was a widely respected work among Caribbean
anthropologists. At the end of her career, and as
a labor of love, she wrote Ruth Benedict: Beyond
Relativity, Beyond Pattern (University of Nebraska
Press, 2005). In addition to an insightful interpretation of Benedict’s theory of culture, Virginia’s book
contains a unique historical account of anthropology
at Columbia at mid-century.
Virginia brought her knowledge of the history of
American anthropology, US minority groups, and
the Caribbean to many graduate students at the
University of Virginia, where she also taught important undergraduate courses on race and ethnicity
in the United States. The faculty cherished her
many unique contributions as a scholar, friend and
colleague.
A scientist and ethnographer by nature, Virginia
was a keen observer. During her retirement, Virginia
wrote a manuscript based on observations of her
beloved cats entitled “Conversations with Cats.” She
was as interested in observing the natural world
at her farm near Advance Mills, VA as she was in
observing the layers of relationships and organization of care in the hospital during her last days,
conducting what she cheerfully admitted to be her
last ethnography.
Virginia was predeceased by her husband, James
Sterling Young, professor emeritus at the University
of Virginia. She is survived by her niece Virginia
Meldahl; her two nephews Malcolm and Keith
Meldahl; her first daughter and mother of her grandchildren Eleanor Young Houston of Washington
DC; her granddaughter Kate Young Crowder of
Richmond; her grandson Jackson Young Crowder
of Pittsburgh; and her second daughter Millicent
Adah Young of Advance Mills, sculptor and life-long
friend.
Virginia Young will be remembered for her enduring
interest in other’s wellbeing; her dedication to democratic, humanitarian, and conservation causes; her
compassionate heart; her graciousness and generosity; and her contemplative probing mind. (Jerome
Handler, Richard Handler, Susan McKinnon)
41
January/February 2015 |
Congratulations!
Distinguished Members
The American Anthropological Association would like to congratulate the newly inducted distinguished class of members. Launched in 2012, this
designation recognizes those who have reached the milestone of 50 years (or more) as an AAA member. A new class is inducted every September.
Members since 1963
• Thomas Abler
• Joan I Ablon
• Richard Bauman
• Charles A Bishop
• Sheila C Cosminsky
• N Ross Crumrine
• Claire R Farrer
• Everett L Frost
• James W Green
• F Allan Hanson
• Donald L Hardesty
• James R Hayes
• Adrienne Kaeppler
• Conrad P Kottak
• Louise Lamphere
• Michael Nowak
• Benson Saler
• Molly Schuchat
• Jon N Young
Members since 1964
• Thomas Abler
• Riva Berleant
• Geoffrey L Burkhart
• Clark E Cunningham
• Mary E Didier
• Dale F Eickelman
• Phyllis Flattery
• Charlotte J Frisbie
• Davydd J Greenwood
• Stephen Gudeman
• Judith L Hanna
• Thomas W Hill
• Murray J Leaf
• Laurence D Loeb
• Maxine Margolis
• Marcella Mazzarelli
• Kathryn T Molohon
• Dennis H O’Neil
• Martin S Ottenheimer
• Naomi Quinn
• Susan C Seymour
• Leslie E Straub
• Brian Stross
• Stan Wilk
To see the full list of distinguished members and to read their bios go to aaanet.org/membership.
www.anthropology-news.org
43
AAA ANNUAL MEETING
Nov 18–22
AMERICAN
ANTHROPOLOGICAL
ASSOCIATION
American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1301
Arlington, VA 22201-3386
114th Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
Theme: “Familiar/Strange”
Contact:
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EYE ON DEADLINES
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Annual reports from sections, committees and journal editors due
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November 18–22
2015 AAA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO
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